Brunei History and Culture

Brunei Culture

According to localtimezone, Brunei [English bru ː na ɪ, bru ː ne ɪ ], officially malay Negara Brunei Darussalam, German Brunei Darussalam, is country in Southeast Asia with 433 300 residents; The capital is Bandar Seri Begawan.

Brunei is located on the northwest coast of Borneo and is separated into two parts of the country by the Malaysian state of Sarawak.


The sultanate of Brunei, which emerged after the Islamization of Borneo in the 15th century, reached its greatest extent in the 16th century and, in addition to a large part of Borneo, also included the Philippine Sulu Islands and Palawan. In 1521 Antonio Pigafetta (* around 1491, † around 1535) , a participant in the Magalhães expedition, visited Brunei, whose sphere of influence was restricted by the colonial activities of the Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish in this region. In 1841 the Briton Sir J. Brooke received rule over Sarawak for his help in suppressing an uprising (in 1842 appointed Raja); In 1846 he brought the island of Labuan into British possession. In 1847 the Sultan concluded a trade agreement with Great Britain, in 1877 he left part of North Borneo to a British trading company (British North Borneo, now Sabah). The rest of the Sultanate of Brunei became a British protectorate in 1888 and a British resident in 1906. In 1890, Sarawak, ruled by the Brooke dynasty, joined the Limbang Corridor (thereby dividing Brunei into two separate parts of the country). 1941–45 Brunei was occupied by the Japanese. In 1959 it received internal self-government; In 1962, British troops put down an uprising (declaring a state of emergency and dissolving Parliament). In 1967 the Sultan, who had ruled since 1950, thanked Omar Ali SaifuddinHe was succeeded by his son Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (* 1946) as (according to the official count) the 29th Sultan.

In 1971 Brunei achieved full internal sovereignty, and on January 1, 1984 its independence; in the same year it became a member of ASEAN and the UN, and in 1989 of APEC. In 1992 Brunei joined the Movement of Non-Aligned States and in 1995 the WTO. In 2004 the Legislative Council, which had been suspended for 20 years, was reinstated by the Sultan.


The values ​​on which the organization of life and culture in the Sultanate of Brunei revolve are those of the Islamic tradition. Animist, Hindu and Western influences make up the other components that have contributed to making Brunei what it appears today: an absolute Islamic monarchy and, at the same time, an immense and glittering park of wonders. The history and traditions live above all in the imposing mosques (such as that of Omar Ali Saifuddien and the Jame ‘Asr hassanil Bolkiah); in the markets (the tamu) where you can find handicraft products, from wood carvings to musical instruments, from jewels to fabrics; in museums such as the Brunei Museum, located along the river of the same name and equipped with an important collection of Islamic art, and like the Malay Technology Museum, with many testimonies of local daily life and the working techniques used in the past for the construction of houses, boats, tools and jewels . The Arts and Handicraft Center deserves a mention, an institution created in 1975 precisely to preserve and revive the peculiarities and artistic skills of the residents of the region. Examples of traditional houses can be found in Kampong Ayer, the “Village on the water” with the stilts that stretch along the Brunei River, as well as the longhouses of the past.of Labi, real villages consisting of an uninterrupted sequence of houses, under a single roof and with a common area as long as the entire building. The aspects in which Islam gives way to modernity and the cult of personality typical of absolute monarchies, are found, for example, in the celebrations that every year in mid-July, and for many days, accompany the birthday of Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzadin Waddaulah. The awareness of the importance of oil for Brunei can be found in the presence of the “Monument to the billionth barrel” extracted in the country. Finally, some buildings, public or private buildings, in the major urban centers, are halfway between architectural excellence and the ostentation of pomp.), the largest official residence in the world, with its gold vaults and domes.

Brunei Culture