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Missing the old life

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Living abroad may be the hardest thing one could ever do, especially if we can’t go back to our country forever. Every country has different values and cultures and it takes time to accept it all especially when we’re doing it alone. Even when we live abroad, with only the internet connecting us to home, there will always be a feeling of emptiness and sadness, and missing our country will surely be there on top of it.

First and foremost, I would miss the peaceful and serene environment of my country. None other countries that I’ve been to has impressed me much in terms of security. With the increasing threat of terrorism and the rising rates of crime in other countries, I would not feel as secure. Brunei as the “Abode of Peace” has been free from wars and conflicts the residents are mostly confident about the wellbeing in the country. In Brunei, going out at night is something that we aren’t terrified of. Even though we have crimes, Brunei still is, I might say, the safest place to live. According to this year’s research, Brunei is ranked one of the safest places to live in Asia, after Singapore.

Secondly, I would miss the convenience of finding ‘halal’ meat in any supermarket. Brunei is an Islamic state and priorities matters pertaining to religion. Hence, it is easy to find halal food at every single store in the country. Everything is basically just “in the step of our doors” as Brunei is a very small country and does not have a large population. On the other hand, this will probably be a huge problem for us living in European or American countries as there are not a large number of Muslims living there. For example, in the UK, halal meat is only available in specialized stores on the outskirts of towns and cities.

Furthermore, I would miss the cultural aspect of food. Being a Bruneian, I identify with certain foods as they are embedded in my childhood memory. Foods in Brunei are simple yet traditional and growing up my whole life with it, I will surely miss the smell and the life of people especially during the month of Ramadhan where stalls are being opened at the Gadong Market and the Berakas Stadium; Kebabs, Roti Johns, Ketupat, Air Tebu(Sugar cane) and so forth.


Lastly, the Bruneian social life revolves around weddings and Hari Raya and fasting in the month of Ramadhan. Weddings in Brunei, especially Muslim weddings, are comparatively different from the ones in the America or the United Kingdom. It’s a series of events that occurs for weeks and has different goals for different days. One example is “Hantar Berian” which is when the exchanging of gifts happens between the bride and the groom, followed by “Bersanding” where the bride and groom officially marries. I will surely miss, especially being involved in the ceremonies. Weddings is the time where people, known or not, bond together and help each other out such as preparing the food, welcoming the guests, giving gifts, helping to wrap the presents or cleaning the area. There is always excitement in the air and full of people getting to know each other and catching up with each other. Brunei is rich in this type of culture because in a wedding, the traditional bonds and the family ties and the closeness of the community are really obvious. The unity and generosity of the community towards each other never failed to make me proud to be a Bruneian.

Living abroad compels you to accept new things such as culture, society, weather environment. In a new environment abroad, I would certainly miss everything that comes in mind with the word Brunei. Yet, it is something that I will have to deal with and accept.





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