Friday, May 25, 2012

Brunei small country with a long history








Those are some of the ways to say 'Peace' in the country of Brunei!

The first is Malaysian for Peace:
The second is in the Bisaya language for peace:
The third and fourth are in different dialects of Chinese for peace:


Why this interest in the country of Brunei?
Well, I started to get readers from there.
I said to myself -
I never heard of that country!!!
Is that really a country?

Yep, it is.
Check out the map above. You can see it is a tiny country,
actually smaller than our state of Delaware!
and that's a small state...

Brunei Flag

So, what are the people of Brunei like?
Here are some quick and fun facts:

Last estimate was in July, 2012
and that was estimated at about 409,000 people.
I'm pretty sure Denver is bigger than that!


The Bruneian people are from a wide diversity of national backgrounds.
There is about 15% Chinese,
about 18% indigenous and other
(don't you always want to know what 'other' means?!!!)
and just a reminder, indigenous means 'native peoples',
not emigrated from somewhere else.
There is a sizable Indian population, mostly minorities from Southern India.
Just in that section some of the different languages are

Think we're done yet?
Just in the Chinese sector there is
 and Hainanese
button with official coat of arms heraldry of Brunei

there are expatriate communities that include Filipino and Indonesian...

How do they ever communicate with each other?
(I'm thinking Tower of Babel from the Bible.....)

Well, English is widely used in business and the work force.
If you are in High School, or on to College,
all the instructions are in English!
the official language of Brunei is Melayu Brunei,
a form of Malaysian, but different.
Of course.
Melayu Brunei was made official in 1959
with the signing of the Brunei 1959 Constitution.

Brunei is a
constitutional sultanate
yep, I never heard of that either!

This is a photo taken at the wedding of Princess Hajah Majeedah Nurul Bulqiah,
daughter of the first wife Kebawah Duli Anak Hajah Saleha
binti His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'zzaddin Waddaulah
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Khairul Khalil
bin Pengiran Syed Haji Jaafari
September, 2008

(I bet they hated learning how to spell their own names in grade school!)

As near as I can tell binti means daughter of?
so bin would be son of?

Royal Wedding

I wanted to find more information on all that wonderful beading,
but never did find any.
boo hoo

Another fun fact:
The average age of Bruneians is
27 years old!
and the life expectancy is averaged at
male: 71 and female: 76 

photo cred: Anthony Asael

Brunei History

now don't skip this just because you hate history!
It really can be quite fascinating!

Brunei is one of the oldest kingdoms in the world
as well as one of the youngest independent nations in Southeast Asia!
In 1888 Brunei became a British protectorate
and independence was achieved in 1982.
the same family has ruled Brunei for over 6 centuries.

stone boat in lagoon
Brunei Bandar Sei Begawan Omar Ali Saifudden Mosque

The official name is
State of Brunei Darussalam
the capital is
Bandar Seri Begawan

 The last election was held in 1962, and the next election is NA.
The Sultanate is handed down through the family.
Sultan Hassanal Boliah was coronated in 1968.

Oil was discovered in 1929.

Some of the cars found in the Sultan of Brunei's Garage.
It holds over 7,000 vehicles worth over 5 billion $$.

What kind of religion do they practice?

woman of Brunei

The official religion is Muslim with 67% of the population practicing.
This is reflected in their legal system which is based on
English common law;
for Muslims, Islamic Shari'a law supersedes civil law in a number of areas.

About 13% are Buddhist,
10% have indigenous beliefs, and that mysterious 'other',
and about 10% are Christian.

According to
there are approx. 39,500 Christians.

In 2011 monitoring of Christian meetings increased.
Only non-Malays can choose any religion other than Islam.
If a Malay converts they are scheduled for
're-education into Islam'
and charged with
'Disturbs peace and harmony'.
There are restrictions on importing Christian materials, Bibles and literature
making them difficult to obtain.

Brunei forests of Temburong

Brunei culture draws from the Old Malay World,
including the Malay Archipelago
and stemmed from the Malay Civilization.
Influences include animism, Hinduism, Islam and the West.

traditional clothing of Brunei

Misc. Fun Facts:

 A large portion of the labor force are from
 and Bangladesh.

Water taxis are a common form of transportation.

The country has made a serious effort in encouraging native crafts,
including the traditional arts of
boat making
silver smithing
bronze tooling
cloth weaving
mat and basket weaving
wood carving and wood working.

traditional silver work

basket weaving at a raft Show in the Brunei Darussalam Pavilion

Silver work, Brass ware and wood working were already a flourishing business
by the 15th century!!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this very brief armchair overview of

map of Brunei, Malaysia and the South China Sea

A last little fun fact:
Korea established diplomatic relations right after the 1982 independence of Brunei from the United Kingdom.
Many Bruneians have become increasingly attracted to Korean
popular soap operas
and songs!

The capital of Brunei, northern bank, Bandar Sei Begawan

It looks like it has many beautiful places.

Shall we go?

I gleaned information from many different sites.
Here are most of them: - an article by Safarozi - an article written by Na Jeong-ju

until next time




  1. Great article! See this website for more readings on Brunei-

  2. amazing gurl ! Brinei represent!

  3. I lived in bsb, Brunei in early 80's during the construction of the Sultan's new istana (Palace). Brunei actually gained it's independence in 1982. All foreigners had to leave Brunei for a week while they celebrated their independence.
    This country is so beautiful and amazing and I'll never forget the friends I made and the experiences I had and at first opportunityI'll be going back!