Kites of various shapes and sizes filled the sky in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday morning during the First Brunei Darussalam International Kite Festival 2019 that is held in conjunction with the 35th National Day celebration. The festival is hoped to further raise the country's name through the tourism industry. His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam officiated the festival that took place at Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas in the capital.
Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, as Chairman of the 35th National Day Celebration Executive Committee, as well as members of the festival's executive committee. Also in attendance were His Majesty's sons:
- His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office;
- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malek;
- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen; and
- His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Wakeel.
In his welcoming speech, Awang Haji Maidin bin Haji Ahmad, President of the Brunei Darussalam Kites Association, PEKIKIK, as Chairman of the Festival's Executive Committee among other things underlined that the festival that is being held for the very first time is a proof that citizens and residents of the country can carry on the nation's culture and tradition such as kite flying. He added that in line with the festival's logo interpretation that is Strengthening Unity, kite flying is different from other recreational sports as it creates harmony and solidarity through sharing of interest by various communities throughout the world, apart from contributing to the country's tourism sector.
His Majesty then officiated the First Brunei Darussalam International Kite Festival 2019. His Majesty then received a Pasambah.
His Majesty was then introduced to the international participants, and presented souvenirs to representatives from 22 participating countries as well as 7 local kite associations. The festival has nearly two hundred participation, comprising kite enthusiasts from within the country and overseas.
Such a festival can strengthen solidarity among participants of various languages and traditions through sharing of interest in kite flying and kite making. Special need participants also did not miss the opportunity in together preserving the country's kite flying tradition.
The relaxed atmosphere in the capital was further enlivened when His Majesty took part in kite flying along with other participants to fill the sky with kites of various colours, shapes and sizes. Also joining His Majesty were His Majesty's sons.
His Majesty then took a closer look at the various types of kites including the giant kite as well as kites used by international participants.
The festival is also filled with the Kite Exhibition. His Majesty first viewed the PEKIKIK Exhibition which showcases the methods in making a traditional kite. Established in 1997, PEKIKIK plays a role in reviving the kite flying tradition among the younger generation so that it will not be forgotten. In together preserving kite flying as one of the nation's culture and heritage, PEKIKIK members actively participate in kite festivals that held within the country and overseas, apart from organising local and regional kite festivals.
Various kites from several countries are also being displayed. The festival is not only capable of uniting kite enthusiast and kite makers, it can also create a community that instil the interest of kite flying. Even though kites have existed for a very long time, it is not exempted from undergoing the evolution process in terms of its building process.
Kite flying is universal in Southeast Asia and in the world. Through such a festival, people can witness the kite flying in just one area.
The festival showcases the creativity of kite makers as well as the proper methods of flying kites. What is interesting is that the festival can improve the public's knowledge specifically the young generation on the types within the country and those from overseas. For kite makers, kite flying is not just a mere hobby, it is also way for them to generate income.
Various efforts continue to be carried out in perpetuating the kite flying tradition. This includes the establishment of kite associations in preserving the kite making handicraft. Kite shapes are becoming more modern and creative in line with the changes of time in an effort to attract the public's interest.
Before leaving the festival, His Majesty and other members of the Royal Family mingled with the members of the festival committee.
Source: Radio Television Brunei