Brunei Darussalam - Part 2
In the rich and prosperous land of Brunei, the Chinese also have a minority status.
The other language that’s often noticed in Brunei is Arabic. As most people know, the Muslims’ holy book, the Koran, is written in Arabic. Because the Islamic faith is the state’s official religion, all followers have learned some Arabic in order to be able to understand the message contained in the Koran. Because the Arabic language is taught in religious schools, in addition to schools of higher learning, many Brunei nationals would be quite proficient in speaking and writing Arabic.
In the rich and prosperous land of Brunei, the Chinese also have a minority status. However, different districts of Brunei have different Chinese dialects: for example, the Belait District have Hakka and Cantonese as their choice of dialects, while the Brunei-Muara District uses the Hokkien dialect. The other Chinese languages actively used in Brunei include Hoisan, Hainanese and Fuchow.
The Bruneians have a high proficiency for the English language because they have three British nationals appointed to sit in the appellate court of Brunei. In addition, of course, Brunei has a large expatriate community, where English is generally the common denominator.
Ethnicity and Religions of Brunei
The ethnicity of Brunei comprises 67% Malay, 15% Chinese, with 6% Indigenous and 12% other. The official religion of Brunei is Islam (67%), with 13% of the population being Buddhist, 10% Christian, and the remaining 10% being indigenous beliefs and other.
The Capital City of Brunei
The capital city of Brunei Darussalam is Bandar Seri Begawan; which, until the year 1970, was known as Brunei Town. The city of Bandar Seri Begawan lies on Brunei Bay, along the mouth of the Brunei River. Originally Bandar Seri Begawan was a river port and agricultural trade centre; however, it suffered extensive damage during World War II and had to be largely rebuilt. It became the country’s financial and administrative centre, with its port at the mouth of the Muara River. Bandar Seri Begawan is home to Brunei’s International airport.
Old World - New World
Brunei is a land steeped in rich traditions and culture, facts that the Bruneian people are extremely proud of. Old Malay World culture is still embraced in Brunei. An example of this is the use of the Jawi script: this is an archaic script of Arabic characters which was used as a mode of written communication by the Malays in olden times, for such important things as official ceremonies, written official communications, formalities, and daily customs. But even though Brunei still retains its old traditions and culture, it’s a very modern country when it comes to technology, economy, and trade.
Brunei: A Devout Muslim Country
At the heart of Brunei’s strong Malay traditions and culture lies its strong Islamic foundation. This balanced but unique blend of Islamic practices and Malay culture is the Bruneians way of life: a national philosophy whereby faith is interspersed with culture. Regardless of the fact that Brunei is a devout Muslim country, it’s still very respectful and tolerant of other beliefs and religions. This mutual understanding and respect creates a stable and harmonious environment, thus fostering unity within the country.
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