Brunei

By Natalie Kaiser

Basic Facts

Population - 429,646 people

Capital - Bandar Seri Begawan

Leader - Hassanal Bolkiah

Government - Malay Islamic Monarchy

Languages - Malay(official), English, and Chinese dialects

Culture

Brunei is heavily influenced by Islamic traditions by how they act, what they wear, and what they celebrate. Most of the people in Brunei are Islamic, too. They make food I bet you've never heard of, they wear Islamic influenced clothing, and have national Islamic holidays. Though not everything in based on just that. It's interesting on what they do and how they act.

All school in Brunei is free and with that, most people are educated. Females usually have 15 years old school while males have 14 years. Though, males have a higher literacy rate of 97.5% than females at 94.5%.

In Brunei they eat daging masak lada hitam, or black pepper beef, is said to be a family favorite. It's as simple as it sounds. It's beef with black pepper and other spices. Another food is udang sambal serai bersantan, or prawns lemongrass sambal, also is as simple as daging masak lada hitam. It of course has lemongrass and prawn in it and other spices. And our last dish is serundeng padang, or chicken serundeng, of course has chicken as the rest of these simple named dishes. It has spices, lemongrass, coconut, and other ingredients.

Brunei celebrates New Year for the year, Chinese, and Islamic. Their freedom day is National Day. So creative, I know. Another holiday is Diwali, or Deepavali which means festival of the lights. It is a Hindu holiday. It is suppose to make good come over evil spiritually. It is usually is five days. And adding onto the obvious names, there are a lot of lights involved.

Haji are men, Hajah are women. Hajah wear a traditional head covering while Haji wear a Malay cap. Their clothing is Islamic.

Geography

In Brunei, they have a lot of wildlife. In fact, 3/4 of Brunei is forest. They get a lot of rain and have many different types of animals. They are kind to their wildlife and treat it well.

They have four major rivers. The Temburong River, the Belait River, Tutong River, and the Brunei River. Temburong is their largest river while Belait is their smallest. The Tutong River goes through the Tutong Basin. The Tutong Basin is full of sand pits. The upper part of the Basin is lake Tasek Merimbun, the largest lake in Brunei.

They have 14,000 species of animals and trees. They have 600 species of birds, 210 species of mammals, and thousands of insect species. Selling timber from the forests are banned and you can only use logs locally. After trees are cut down, new trees are planted right away in their place. Citizens do this to keep their forests healthy.

In the wild, some plants are palms, shrubs, bamboo, herbs, nipa trees, sea holly bushes, and mangroves. Among the mangrove roots, shrimp and other fish raise their young. Migrating birds keep the young for easy snakes. Sea holly bushes are said to ward of spirits and places in bundles outside of a home when a woman is in labor.

Brunei has many different kinds of animals. Gibbons, langurs, proboscis, mudskippers, civets, tapirs, pangolins, and midges are only some of them. Gibbons are small, thing, monkeys with short legs and long arms to swing around. Their loud harsh hoot is heard a lot. Langurs are monkeys that can climb but they chose to be on the ground a lot. Proboscis are also monkeys. They are threatened with only about 10,000 in mangrove swamps and forests. They have large long noses, big bellies, tails are pale, and their fur is orange-brown. They do not go to the ground often and they can swim. They are most active at dawn and sunset. Mudskippers are considered a fish but they can be both in water and on land. Mudskippers are territorial and eat insects and snails. They are able to walk, jump, and, true to their names, skim across water and land. Civets are creatures that are adorable which people have as pets and hunt. Tapirs look like a cross between a pig and hippo. Pangolins are reptile looking creatures that can be pets or food. Bats in Brunei eat midges, also known as sand flies. Midges are tiny,usually .006 - .16 cm. Females in giant numbers attack anything tasty including people. Watch out because at dusk and dawn is when they attack people. Brunei beauty or ikan pelaga were thought to be extinct for 50 years. In 1981, it was rediscovered a waterfall. They are typically four inches long. The male is colorful and has a red and black stripes on front fin. Both genders have large mouths.

The climate is hot and humid, usually 76 - 86F all year. They can get 110 inches of rain per year at coast and 150 at land. Brunei doesn't suffer from natural disasters.

Bibliography

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