Brunei’s culture is deeply rooted in its Malay origins, which are reflected in the nation’s language, architecture, ceremonies, and customs governing daily life. Though various foreign civilisations have played a role in forming Brunei’s rich history, the traditions of the Old Malay World have left an indelible mark on the culture of modern Brunei.
If Malay traditions are Brunei’s cultural root, then Islam is its heart. The nation’s Malay Islamic Monarchy is a uniquely Bruneian blend combining the best of Malay culture with the teachings of Islam, loyalty to the state, and a mutual respect between ruler and subjects, This national philosophy is aimed at forging a stronger sense of identity as well as fostering unity and stability and forms the backbone of Bruneian cultural identity. The gentle nature of Bruneians comes partly from their culture which is derived from the Old Malay World of the Malay Archipelago.
Places of Interest
The best introduction to the pomp, opulence and rich traditions of the six centuries old Brunei Monarchy, this huge building, established in 1992 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s accession to the throne. This establishment houses a vast collection of the Regalia displayed during Royal ceremonies steeped in tradition, including two elaborately decorated royal carriages used during the Coronation and Silver Jubilee of His Majesty as well as galleries of ornate gifts from all over the world
This magnificent mosque sites at the very heart of the capital city and the country’s Islamic faith. The gleaming white and gold edifice is Brunei’s most iconic mosque, featuring italian marble and granite floors, stained glass and chandeliers, surrounded by a tranquil lagoon where a replica of the royal barge reposes. Built in 1958 and named after the 28th Sultan of Brunei, it is one of the most impressive mosques in South East Asia.
Built along the banks of the Brunei River, this centre was established for the preservation of traditional handicrafts with displays of beautiful brocades called ‘Jong Sarat, hand-woven baskets, silverware, brassware, woodcarvings and unique replicas of the asymmetrical daggers called ‘Keris’ that can be purchased from the centre’s handicraft shop.
Located along the banks of the Brunei River in the historic Kota Batu area, which was the seat of power in the 15th and 16th century heydays of the Brunei Empire, this museum documents the history and heritage of Brunei, as well as having interesting ethnographic and natural history collections.
It is one of the main tourist attractions in Brunei Darussalam that is situated along the Brunei River. It is a settlement area that is built on water in the country and is dubbed as “The Venice of the East” by Italian explorer Antonio Pigafetta who at that time visited Brunei in the 16th century.
The modern day houses in Kampong Ayer are built using concrete stilts & walls instead of wood. Kampong Ayer is also equipped with other modern amenities such as schools, convenient shops, mosques, clinics, police stations, postal services and fire brigades provided by the Government. The mode of transportation is by Water taxi or locally known as “Perahu Tambang” at nearby jetties.