Show of culture

Aziz Idris

Indian associations in Brunei conduct various cultural programmes throughout the sultanate, but there were constraints in organising such events for the majority of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, said High Commissioner of India to Brunei Darussalam Ajaneesh Kumar.

The high commissioner was speaking at a cultural evening at Tarindak D’Seni last weekend, to mark the 72nd Republic Day of India which falls tomorrow.

“Now we are able to celebrate this function (which) has also been possible, due to the prompt actions and effective measures taken by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the government, to arrest the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in Brunei, allowing us to enjoy an evening like this,” he said.

The high commissioner also expressed his appreciation to the Indian Association of Belait (IAB), the Bandar Seri Begawan Indian Association (BSBIA) and the Malayali Association (MA), as well as their regional partner organisations, for their efforts to make the event a success.

The guest of honour was Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin and his spouse Datin Nurhayana Janis binti Abdullah who enjoyed many classical dance forms from India, namely kathakali, kuchupudi, bharatnatyam, kathak, garba and dandiya, jogwa, dhumal, odissim mohiniyattam, sattriya and ghoomar.

The evening programme also showcased popular folk dances from different regions of India such as Kairali (Kerala), Mekhla (North East State of Bengal and Assam), Lavni (Maharashtra) and Qawwali (northern states of India).

Government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, prominent Indians and friends of India were also present.

A second staging of the cultural programme will be held at the V Plaza Hotel in the Belait District, on January 30.

ABOVE & BELOW: Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin receives a token of appreciation from High Commissioner of India to Brunei Darussalam Ajaneesh Kumar; and a cultural performance. PHOTOS: AZIZ IDRIS