The Brunei Traditional Dance Workshop and Competition “Bengkel dan Pertandingan Gemalai Tarian Asli Brunei” was organized by five final year students from Academy of Brunei Studies, under the supervision of Dr. Maslin bin Haji Jukin/Jukim. This event was made under PB-4307 Project II and was held for two days which was on the 29th and 31st March 2018.
This kind of event was one of the first ever to be held by the final year students from Academy of Brunei studies in collaboration with Culture and Art Section from Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. The main objective of this event was to expose and promote Brunei traditional dance to UBD’s international students.
The highlight of this event was the Brunei Traditional Dance Competition which were participated by 13 international students consists those from Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Korea, Japan, Greece, Russia, Maldives and Syria. A total of three groups competed in the competition, where each group had to perform only one Brunei traditional dance. The dances performed were called Kayyum O Ya Kayyum, Alus Jua Dindang and Jipin Laila Sembah. Each dances had their own unique stories where it can display the Bruneian identity such as respect, politeness, grace of the women, and masculinity of the men and so on. The competition was also judged by professional judges from the Culture and Art Section of Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. The professional judges were chosen so that there is no element of bias and unsatisfactory.
In order to achieve the main objectives of the event, the organizers also held Kurapak-Kurapak Santai Workshop “Bengkel Kurapak-Kurapak Santai”. The workshop’s speaker was one of the professional traditional dancers from the Culture and Art Section of Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. The content of the workshop was mainly focused on the history and background of Brunei traditional dances and with the workshop, both participants and organizers can gain more knowledge about Brunei Traditional Dances. As the speaker also showed movements for each traditional dance, it can directly help fellow participants to improve their movements for the dance that were given to them.
The attraction and uniqueness of The Brunei Traditional Dance Workshop and Competition can also be seen from the participation itself. Usually, the event that was held for the international students is Cultural Night “Malam Kebudayaan”, where all international students are given an opportunity to present and perform their own culture. However, none of the content from the Cultural Night exposes the international students to Bruneian culture, especially Brunei traditional dances. In addition to that, traditional dance competition that was held in Brunei, usually only focused on the participation from the local students. However, with this event, it gives opportunities to the international students to not only gain knowledge about Brunei Dance Culture, but also to perform the Brunei traditional dances as this event included all aspects of Brunei traditional dances, theory and practical.
By holding this kind of event, the organizers can also improve their self-esteem and communication skills by communicating directly with the international students. Other than that, the organizers can also gain opportunities to do networking and cooperating with one of the agency that plays an important role in promoting Bruneian cultures which is the Culture and Art Section of Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. Indirectly, the Culture and Art Section can also spread the knowledge about Brunei Dance Culture as well as preserving the Brunei Traditional Dance from extinction. On the same time, the obvious result is that the international students can gain knowledge about Brunei Traditional Dance as well as valuable experience by joining the competition.