Juices of Bruneian Talent

Now I have been wanting to write this since Brunei’s National day last month (awu bangas I know) but I was on night shifts, then I got my tummy bug, bla bla…Finally, finally, I have peace of surroundings (ignoring the mountain of laundry and vacuuming-needed floor) and mind to finally pen this down.

I’ve always believed that there’s juices of Bruneian talent that are waiting, itching, struggling to spew out. I’m a bit clueless to the music scene but judging from a a very far away view of what’s happening, it seems like more and more bruneians are releasing their own songs and coming out to prove to the world (or Asia at least) what they can do.

No, I’m talking about other talent-based things here. Like literary for example. I have secretly stalked so many blogs and think that if they have the opportunity to pen their words to paper, we could be creating wonders here. I’ve got two friends at least that I can think of now that wish they’re writing for BB (local newspaper) features – their thoughts would be eloquently written, their wit and humor shining through.

And then there’s the cooking scene. I am a firm believer that Bruneians have a lot of good cooks out there. My mum  being one of them. Perhaps I’m being biased – mums are supposedly your best cook and homecook food is the best. She has folders of cooking and baking recipes and religiously goes through them when she wants to find inspiration/guidance on what to cook/bake. (I am tempted to steal these folders away but they’re pretty bulky) She does sell some of her baking stuff but I’m tempted to make her compile all her favourite recipes together (by that I mean really, all the good food that we’ve been eating in the house), take pictures of it and make it into a book. Or at least take pictures of her desserts and then her clients can have a good look. Currently she’s only selling through word of mouth. I bet if mama was more techno-literate, I could push her to do these things.

Anyway I’m digressing. Where was I? Oh yes, good cooks. Not only Bruneians are good cooks but we’re pretty creative too. Everytime I come back, there’s a new kuih that’s the rage. And they go to all lengths too trying on different fruits and combinations that I dared not try (like durian tapak kuda??). And the cakes usually look pretty good, the colours and different designs. And don’t even go on those talented cake-makers that sells via blog. Amazing, I wanna eat their cakes!

The crux of it all is that we need a big mighty push to uncover, stimulate, encourage these talents. Just because we come from a small (tiny really) country doesn’t mean we are anything less. In fact, I think it’s proof that we can do it. We’re small and sheltered yet our education system is good, we’ve nurtured and developed a lot of academically talented people and so, if we can do it academically, we can do it on other aspects too.

How do we uncover,stimulate, encourage these talents, Fizah? Good question! We need more competitions for one thing. When we have competitions, we not only find those hidden talents but those who are into say writing or cooking, are encouraged even more to improve, to actually make their creations into reality.  And when you have competitions, you don’t just sit back and go ‘yeah, this is what I can do’. You go ‘oh wow, I must step up my game!’ and it’s a whole cycle of improving on ourselves.

Secondly, we need to have a venue to let this out. More photo galleries. More art galleries. Cooking courses to improve our skills (ahem more on this later). Writing courses – is there one in Bru? Not that I know of.

And thirdly, we just need a mighty kick from ourselves. If you think you’ve got it, show it. Now if I could actually write a book, I would. But I’ve tried writing and failed. (I could only come up to 1 page and get stuck) I’m not giving up though. I am contemplating of doing my own NaNoWriMo. I’ve discovered this via wordpress and it seems pretty cool. Basically there’s this group of people who said ‘heck it, we’re gonna write our own novels and do it within 1 month!’. And they did. The quality of it remains to be doubted but so many people took up the challenge too. Now people worldwide is entering and following this challenge and for a month, people all over are typing away on their laptop to produce that novel that they’ve wanted to make for so long but never did get there. Talk about a mighty push! I’d like to try it out and see if I can actually sit down and write. But it’s in November and only God knows what I’ll be doing then (probably busy working).

From the website:
“Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.”

Cool right?

I’m digressing AGAIN! Before I go, let me just mention of 2 bruneians that I secretly admire. Firstly is Norhayati, only the most amazing adventurer I know. I met her in Cambodia when a bunch of us went for our medical electives there. And let me tell you, I was SO starstruck. haha! Macam terjumpa this celebrity (who she is kinda!). I might have had my mouth hanging open, I can’t remember, too fun and surreal moments! LOL It’s pretty awesome, listening to their stories and reading up on their adventures on her website. It takes a lot of motivation, sacrifices (on so many levels), guts to do what they’re doing now – kalau buleh, aku mau ikut! I believe they may still be on their current expedition. She’s spreading the word on Brunei which is good too. Here’s the website: Writings on Cambodia

Secondly, I have been reading Brunei Resources blog for awhile too. Loving the mountain of information that you get. It’s pretty hard putting up a decent, well-written post regularly especially when you’re working. So kudos for regularly informing us!

Anyway this is pretty long post already. making up for the last few days >_<

Remember: if you've got it, show it!

Lotsa love, me

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