A portal across Asia and beyond

Daniel Lim

Travelling the world is always common with the bucket list of the adventurous, or those who seek to learn about cultures and traditions across the globe.

Students and instructors of the School of Business at the Institute of Brunei Technical Education Jefri Bolkiah Campus (IBTE JBC) recently took the opportunity to shape their year-end project titled ‘Around Asia in 48 Hours’, as a way to travel across continents.

One iconic country that was showcased at a booth set up by students led by Nor Adeana Adyani binti Sunardi was Japan.

“As any group taking the Event Management Module, we were free to choose any country in Asia and beyond. It gave us the opportunity to gain experience in logistics and managing of booths and showcase the country’s cultures, both traditional and modern,” she said. She said in their attempt at conducting the project, the booths enabled visitors, especially students to get a glimpse of the country and recognisable icons associated to it.

“We also showcased several food, and drinks, as well as conducting activities in our booths. If we or other students were to visit the country, we would be aware of its culture and cuisines,” she said.

A group of students tend to a booth showcasing China. PHOTOS: DANIEL LIM
‘nAis Katok’ served during the event by some of the instructors at the campus
Activities at the Kaizen Chiyoko booth
The group at the ‘Alwartha’ booth in a group photo

Her group banded under the name Kaizen Chiyoko, which she explained means a thousand generations that keeps on growing. “Visitors were excited to see well-known brands and icons from Japan in our booth. Visitors also took photos at our photo booth to commemorate their visit,” she said.

Meanwhile, clad in red and adorned with golden decorations, one booth showcasing China was created by another group of students led by Rusyaidi bin Khalidi.

He said the inspiration for making China as their main focus for their booth was due to its cultural influence.

“Some of the most diverse foods and traditions have come from China. We want to show the visitors how the culture has helped to shape the world today,” he said. Traditional games and activities were available at the booth.

“In setting up the booth, we wanted to focus on the food, which includes some well-known dishes such as ha gao, shumai, dumpling, moon cake, and so on,” he continued. He said their main goal was to spread joy and ensure visitors were satisfied with their experience in visiting their booth.

While many booths set-up focussed on showing Asian countries, one booth stood out.

The group named Alwartha sported the flag of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Nurfitri Syafinaz binti Haji Hassanal, who represented her group, said the reason they chose UAE was because they wanted to stand out.

“Some of things that we are showcasing today are rarely found in Brunei. We were inspired by the clothing and fashion found in the country.

“This is why we wanted to showcase the cultures and traditions of UAE,” she continued.

In addition to the decorated photo booth, her group also conducted a Shawarma live cooking. “We hoped that visitors will be able to experience the countries that they had never visited,” she concluded.

With booths showcasing cultures and traditions of different countries, there comes a time where all have to return home. Showcasing Brunei in an inventive way was a group of instructors.

Instructor Ann Michelle Rahman Suhaili, the Programme Leader for HNTec in Business and Finance as well as NTec in Business and Administration, said it would be unfair not to represent Brunei as it is a part of the world.

“As instructors to the students, we decided to partake in this year’s project to help show the students on how to apply the theoretical knowledge that they had learnt in class, into real life situation,” she said.

The instructors had set out to re-invent and apply their creativity to draw the crowd to the project.

The main theme of their booth was Nasi Katok with a twist, where the idea was formed during a brainstorming session on what the group could present to the visitors.

Nasi Katok is everywhere, so we thought, what can we do that is different? This resulted in our product, which is nAis Katok,” she said.

Being a portmanteau of Nasi Katok and Ais (Ice in Malay), nAis Katok was a blend of shaved ice with condiments commonly called ABC in Brunei and packaged in the form of Nasi Katok.

“We wanted to make the students think outside the box when it came to our involvement in the project. We took one product that is Nasi Katok and made it innovative,” she continued.

In showing how the group were able to be creative on some of the most mundane cuisine into something that strikes the curiosity, she said at the end of the day, they wanted the students and visitors to experience the feeling of home while having fun.