For the 9 years that I have lived in Brunei, the national day which fell on the 23rd February meant only one thing. Public holiday!
But this year, my husband and a few of his “patriotic” friends were able to get some passes to attend the parade at the National Stadium. I said patriotic because I could not imagine anyone who would voluntarily wear a formal suit (the required dress code) to sit in an outdoor stadium and worse, under the sun. For several hours!
My mother in law was once told by the wife of a dignitary who happened to reside in the Belait district and was participating in the parade, that they had to leave for Bandar Seri Begawan as early as 4 am!
Although my husband was not participating, he too had to leave before 5 am to ensure good parking spot and seating area. And their relatively early start was worth it as they managed to secure excellent seating locations and was able to capture some great shots.
The most anticipated moment was the arrival His Majesty the Sultan and his wives – as that meant that the parade can now start.
I believe the whole parade was accompanied by live choir singing and of course live music by the Royal Brunei Police Band.
My husband shot some of the instruments used by the band. How many can you name?
Over the past several days, there was radio quiz going on asking among others, the size of a giant Brunei national flag which is 24 by 12 feet.