Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman made the call in her speech at the finals of the 3rd Brunei Traditional Dance Competition for Secondary Schools and Colleges Nationwide 2011 yesterday.
In her text read by Hjh Norsyam Hj Yahya, Acting Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the deputy minister said that these efforts need to be implemented soon so that the country would not lose its asset its cultural heritage. She also pointed out the need for sound research to be conducted.
Datin Paduka Hjh Adina commented on how all of these play an important role in preserving and strengthening Brunei's traditional heritage, including dances, as "it is the legacy of our previous generation that we need to defend."
The deputy minister stressed that the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports are the leading agencies to do this, as well as promoting the practice and appreciation of Islam in line with the country's Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB) philosophy.
She said today's community must realise that culture covers a broad spectrum of life, and one of the most important element in preserving and developing the cultural heritage is documentation and publication of these culture.
The competition gave awareness and sense of responsibility to all, especially youth, to appreciate and love their country's tradition, she said.
"The traditions influence the way of life of our community before this. All elements of the culture have its own importance in the life of the community, that can be felt by its members," she added.
She said that in facing modernisation and urbanisation, inherited social values also evolved and changed.
"We need to think forward in shaping generation of youths that appreciates Malay culture in their life, especially in this modern time."
She suggested that schools should take measures in the preservation of cultural heritage and expanding the endeavours on cultural heritage in schools.
"Schools and colleges have established various clubs including clubs on arts and culture. This exposure to arts and culture is an appropriate approach to increasing the students' confidence in mastering the arts and cultural scene," she added.
Temburong's Sultan Hashim Primary School and Pehin Dato Seri Maharaja Secondary School, Mentiri, emerged champions of the 35th Brunei Traditional Dance Competition for primary and secondary schools, respectively.
Sultan Hashim Primary School and Pehin Dato Seri Maharaja secondary school topped eleven other schools in their respective categories.
The champion in the primary school category won the hearts of the judges with their performance of Alus Jua Dindang.
It's the third time's a charm for Sultan Hashim Primary School who participated in the competition for the third time this year.
Their first attempt vying for the trophy was in 2008 where they were in fifth spot. In 2009, the school was the second runner-up with their rendition of Aduk Aduk dance.
"This year we went all out and got it. We have a great song (Alus Jua Dindang) and hopefully next year we will be lucky to have another great song," said Md Zool Fadli Hj Mahbub, the teacher in charge of the winning team.
The dances and songs for the teams are chosen via voting.
He added, "When I first got this song, I can already imagine how the performance will be like."
"We practiced since May, and with this result, Alhamdulilah (praise to Allah SWT), our efforts paid off."
He said the success was a combination of hard work and commitment from the students and teachers.
"If they do not show the commitment, this will not happen."
Md Zool Fadli said that the children needed to learn and know about Brunei traditional dances, "so that it will stand the test of time. Let our children know that this is Brunei's traditional dance".
The champion in secondary school category won the contest with their performance of Lanang Beladu Lanang dance.
The Brunei Times