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MEDIA CONTENT EXCHANGE >> Media Content Exchange >> Information Department, Brunei Darussalam >> Media Content Exchange 2017
Younger generations, a successor to traditional dance

23 June 2017 (Readers 1561)

The Brunei Malay Culture have indeed been firmly footholed in Brunei since centuries ago. The Sultanate, rituals, customs, and religious life in the Malay language is part of the manifestation of cultural heritage that is still here to this day.
Throughout the process of development, the Brunei culture is not spared from experiencing processes that has led to these changes. The Brunei traditional dance have also shown some changes. For those who are not experienced, it is difficult to distinguish the traditional dance with dances that have been restyled.
It is necessary to classify the Brunei culture systematically be it dance, music, costume clothing, decorative accessories, spoken traditions and so on, by creating an inventory that will help us to identify, understand and refer without doubt what is traditional and what has changed over time.
The values that are behind our traditional culture is mainly a mirror from our previous beliefs. Traditions like these affects the entire communitys way of life and our nations past.
All cultural elements has its own importance in the life of a society.
Our society needs to think forward to develop youths to be more appreciative and cherish Brunei culture in their life.
While accepting modernization, cultural heritage and traditions should be maintained and preserved, as well as practice and appreciate the Islamic faith in line with the nations philosophy, Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB), which is a platform or guideline so as not to come off and go over cultural boundaries including dressing up, our way of life such as social interactions, behavior etc.
Participation of Youths
To instill the Brunei Traditional Dance that is filled with customs and traditions to the youths, several programmes have been implemented. One of which is by organizing a Traditional Brunei Dance competition.
By participating competitions such as these, youths will be able to discover their talents in cultural areas, particularly in the Art of Dancing, namely the Brunei Traditional Dance, as well as to motivate them to learn and further appreciate the Bruneian dance that should be inherited for generations by instilling the MIB philosophy.
Additionally, it will also be able to create a society that is disciplined, courteous, obedient and confident, whether for trainings or competitions or matches.
Types of Dances
There are many types of traditional dance with different kinds of meaning and purpose of its own. Among the types of dances are Alus Jua Dendang, Samalindang, Dundang-Dundang, Adai-Adai, Kayum oh Ya Kayum, Zapin Laila Sembah, Joget Baju Putih, Indung Anak, Naindung, Mendayut / MedayutLanang, Beladu Lanang and Dang Mengalai. Alus Jua Dendang is a dance accompanied by singing, where by the groom flatters his new wife and declares his undying love. Dancers are paired together and their numbers are not limited. This dance is usually held during the Malam Berjaga-jaga wedding ceremony.
The dance also takes place during special and certain occasions.
Meanwhile, Samalindang is a traditional dance derived from a woman named Siti Samalindang.
It is performed during the feast day. The dance symbolized the Samalindang song which has ten basic movements, symbolizing beauty, fineness and sweetness that is sought-after by every woman. Conclusion With the rapid development of technology such as televisions and other gadgets, the interest of traditional dances are decreasing, as a result, the performance has only gained interest only by a small number of people compared with other performing arts such as singing performance. However, continuous efforts from relevant authorities with respect to the Traditional Dance competition held annually at the Brunei schools and colleges and youth organizations to some extent is a hope that dance traditions will continue to become a national heritage and that it will still remain as one identity to us.
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