Monday, May 21, 2012

Brunei's Adau Gayo celebration has huge tourism potential

By Sim Y H

With the country's rich heritage, Brunei Darussalam's cultural gatherings can potentially be turned into a product investment focussed on attracting tourists into the country.

One of the biggest local celebrations among the Dusun community, the Adau Gayo, suggested Special Duties Senior Officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs Awang Metussin bin Orang Kaya Sura Haji Tuba, could be made into a significant yearly gathering in the country's calendar such as what is currently being practised by our neighbouring country where the Dusun community plays an integral role in enriching society's history.

The senior government officer explained that with proper management, organisation and fixed scheduling, the once-a-year event that takes place in the month of May to give thanks for the harvest season, can be transformed into an important event highly anticipated by the general population.

"We have an agency that can help in promoting these events should we decide to include it in the tourism calendar," he said in his speech during the opening of the Adau Gayo celebration in Kampong Bukit, Tutong, yesterday.

To achieve this ambition, Awang Metussin also highlighted that a bigger venue should be provided to accommodate a bigger crowd and, instead of carrying out the celebrations in different groups, organisers should consider having one major and all encompassing gathering with cooperation from the entire Dusun community.

"With the existence of such teamwork, we will be able to witness unity and understanding in the Dusun community that we wish to see whilst at the same time uplift our society's culture."

Confident that a bigger celebration would further strengthen relations among the Dusuns, the uniqueness of the culture, its tradition and way of life will be an attraction in itself and that its identity should be preserved and its heritage should be handed down to future generations to ensure its survival in a globalising world.

"In Brunei, the Adau Gayo celebration is observed by the Dusun community and many of them are in the Tutong District. This celebration is indicative that Adau Gayo does indeed belong to the Dusuns," he said.

"Therefore, it is a Dusun identity and as a community, Dusuns should be proud as each community is valued by the way its members are dressed, by their language and by their practice.

"We do not need to copy, need not follow and need not seek a new culture for our society because we already have one ... therefore, defend it, bequeath it to your children and grandchildren because the Dusun community is a community that is recognised as one of Brunei Darussalam's tribal identities," he added.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin