Chapter 1

Chapter 1 : The Measure of a Person

Day 1 in Brunei

Enduring Understanding
History is an intimate part and parcel of culture and society.

Essential Question
How does history of Brunei shape the social relations and memories we live in today?

Learning Objective
Students will learn that heritage is more than simply the things Bruneians preserve from the past as it reflects the way they see themselves as a community today as well as how they project themselves into the future.

TASK (to be completed as a group at the end of Day 1)
Posting information:
Post as a comment
Include (i) group name (ii) question number

(based on visits to Sago factory and Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque)
  1. What are the key issues or areas of concern relating to this activity?
  2. Discuss some of the impacts that stemmed from this issue.
  3. How does your host destination go about managing the issue? What are the key lesson that Singapore can learn?


Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque
Possible Key Areas:
1. Brunei Sultanate (click here)
2. Brunei Delicacy - ambuyat (click here)


  1. GROUP G7
    Alden, Rifky, Sabrina, Jane

    What were your first impressions of Brunei?
    J:-Thought that it was part of Malaysia
    A:-Thought that it was not developed well
    R:-Thought that everybody was rich
    S:-Thought that Brunei was a kampong

    What changed your impressions when you arrived?
    J:-Dirty and very big/ a lot of empty space
    R:-Some of the civilians are poor
    S:-Its a lot like Singapore
    A:-Its quite developed

    What do you look forward for tomorrow?
    J,R and S:-Experiencing the water village
    A:-Experiencing the Museum

    What are the key issues or areas of concern relating to this activity?
    A and S:-The technology is not very advanced
    J and R:-The drains are not covered and there is litter around

    Discuss some of the impacts that stemmed from this issue
    S:-Most of the work is done manually
    A:-The workers have to work very hard in order to earn a living
    R:-They cannot rely on technology for help
    A:-There are risks of people falling into drains
    A:-Pollution and diseases may be formed

    How does your host destination go about managing the issue? What are the key lessons that Singapore can learn?
    J:-The Sultan goes about Brunei enquiring about the well-being of the civilians and tries to improve it
    R:-Government tries to help poor civilians
    -Singapore can try to gather more information and ideas from the citizens and improve

  2. Questions:
    What are the key issues/areas of concern of the activities?
    Nat: – Unnecessary noise was produced during the period of time where we saw worms (e.g. some of the girls were shrieking for no reason even though the worms was nowhere near them).
    Ethan: - There was a lot of disruptions during the activities and it costed us more time(e.g we were making so much noise when we saw the worms and we did not assemble quick enough when we were about to take a photo)
    Hanis: - The group was not really fast in responding to the questions by the leaders and the teachers. We were not really alert to respond. Also, we were quite noisy and disruptive when instructions and briefings were held.
    Rachelle: - I think that the students can be more brave to try out new stuff like taking out the worms from the bark of the tree and also take the initiative to try out the stuff by volunteering themselves other than the teacher needing to volunteer them so often.
    Discuss some of the impacts that stemmed from this issue.
    Nat: — It caused the group to be slightly disorientated and become less focused towards what was actually happening, because everyone was focusing on how frightening the worms appeared to be instead.
    Ethan: - More time was wasted when we were wandering all over the place instead of keeping together as a group and the teachers and the student leaders had to call us several times before we got together.
    Hanis: - Due to the slow response of the group, precious time were wasted and the teachers or the student leaders had to wait for us to pay attention. We also should be more mindful of the others around us.
    Rachelle: - I think that due to our slow reactions, we wasted quite a bit of time and we did not get t enjoy more stuff than we could have. We should also be more socially aware of our surroundings and to remind each other about our etiquette.
    How does Brunei attend to the problem and what are the key lessons that Singapore can learn?
    Nat: — The hosts at the Sago Factory, who were Bruneians, reassured us that the worms would pose no threat towards any of us. Therefore, I suppose that Singapore (particularly Singaporean hosts) could learn from this example to practise greater reassurance towards their guests, such as assuring future guests that the durian fruit is actually somewhat tasty, to encourage guests to try it out too.
    Ethan: - The family in charge of the Sago Factory told us that the worms were not as disgusting as we thought by stating that the worms lived inside the tree bark and was not contaminated of any sort. I would like to suggest that Singapore could that this as a lesson on how to comfort their guests and debunk all of their misconceptions on the object at hand.
    Hanis: - The workers (aka as a family) of the only left-standing Sago Factory were very heartwarming in inviting us to try different steps of them processing the sago from the Rumbia trees. From this, Singapore could adapt a positive character when inviting visitors into the country. Singapore could also adapt the use of traditional ways of getting food.
    Rachelle: - The hosts from Brunei were really nice and helped us and assured us not to be frightened by the worms as they are of no harm. I think their hospitality is one point that Singapore can take in to improve on as a lesson.

  3. Group E5
    Isa, Nicole, Sajidah and Aryan

    What were your first impressions of Brunei?
    I - Before reaching Brunei Darussalam, I thought that Brunei would be a busy city as usually richer countries are packed with people.
    N - Before I came to Brunei, I thought it was a bustling city, like Singapore.
    S - I expected Brunei to be:
    i) A busy port
    ii) A slightly "lower class" than Singapore
    iii) Filled with buildings
    iv) Influenced by the Muslims
    A - I thought tat it would be a bustling city with a population of about 5 million with a lot of buildings

    What changed your first impressions when you arrived?
    I - When I reached the airport, there wasn’t a lot of people in the airport, maybe because it wasn’t during the peak period.
    N - I saw that there were still older areas and not everything in high class.
    S - How my impression changed:
    i) It was really quiet when I reached the airport
    ii) There were not many high-rise flash and the buildings
    iii) There were more trees and nature in Brunei
    A - When the plane reached Brunei territory I realised that there were many trees and very less buildings and the landed property in Brunei cost as much as a 3-room flat in Singapore. When the tour guide mentioned that the country only had a population of about 400, 000 I was shocked.

    What do you look forward to see tomorrow?
    I - I look forward to see more of the tourist attractions of Brunei and also have fun while learning, like today
    N - I look forward to the Padi Farm and museum tour.
    S - What I would look forward tomorrow:
    i) I look forward to learning the culture in Brunei and how it actually developed from the past to now.
    ii) How the Muslims are influenced by Brunei
    iii) Some differences in Brunei and Singapore in terms of economy and history
    A - I look forward to visiting the paid field tomorrow as I want to see how they cultivated the grain

    What are the key issues or areas of concern relating to this activity?
    I - The areas of concerns are that our volumes might be too loud.
    N - No one goes to the Sago factory anymore
    S - There is only one Sago factory in the whole of Brunei and is the only unmodernised factory
    A - Not many people wished to volunteer and try a new experience

    Discuss some of the impacts that stemmed from this issue.
    I - It might delay the activity and the instructions will not be comprehended properly and the students might do the activity wrongly
    N - They might not make much money because of the lack of tourists
    S - i) Loss of culture from the previous centuries to the 21st Century
    ii) In future, these traditions will be lost and cannot be rediscovered due to modernised technology
    A - It took a long time for the activity to complete as teachers have to force students to go and try

    How does your host destination go about managing the issue? What are the key lessons that Singapore can learn?
    I - Singapore can learn from Brunei as they managed this issue by being interactive with the students, which Singapore also has actually
    i) It helps to prevent any attention or focus lost to the instructors and prevent any bad things to happen
    ii) Singapore can learn to have more citizens that are interactive
    N - i) It arranges for school tours and it allows the knowledge of this traditional farm
    ii) It could host schools from other countries
    S - i) Brunei tries to bring in foreigners to build up a sago factory and other rare and raw materials that can be seldom found in Brunei.
    ii) Singapore can learn how to attract foreigners for a win-win benefit (attracting foreigners to bus up factories in Brunei)
    A - Be more brave and daring and try out more things and keep some things and keep some heritage sights where there are traditional methods of doing things to preserve the history

  4. group D
    what was your first thought of Brunei in Singapore?
    Amirul: overpopulated and boring
    Yi Zhen: A bustling city with a lot of cars.
    Deandra: A quite boring place
    Andrew: A place under ISIS control and boring
    - What were your first impressions when you reach Brunei?
    Amirul : There are a lot of friendly people and very interesting culture.
    Yi Zhen: The roads are quite empty and there are very few people at public places and by the roads.
    Deandra: This place is quite entertaining :)
    Andrew: very hospitable

    -What are the key issues and areas of concern for today
    Dirty streets, air pollution, make me sick (Amirul) :) humid weather,
    -Discuss some of the impacts that stand from this issue
    POLLUTION!!!! Being left out (sick),slight traffic
    -What are the result of the problem.
    Amirul being sick .__. Amirul also cannot experience the delicacies and several people got sick due to humid weather.
    -How are the host destination managing the issues?
    Lesser deforestation, Better public Facilties like cleaner toilets
    -How Singapore can learn from the way Brunei solves the issue?
    Preserve wildlife

  5. Group A part one:

    My pre-conception about Brunei was that it was really struggling to develop properly. I thought that since it was rich in oil and the oil would be burned or such, the air would be really foggy. I also imagined that the roads were in disrepair. I thought that Brunei would be a boring country.
    Today I realised that Brunei is in fact very interesting with the sago worms and the many different Mosques. I also realised that Brunei was in fact quite developed and very few things were actually in disrepair.
    I am looking forward to visiting the water village tomorrow.

    Some of the key issues is that when it rains heavily, the villages are usually flooded.Another issue is ensuring that Brunei is well-developed. The Brunei Sultan hoes around Brunei to look at the conditions and try to improve it. The sultan will also talk to the local people to find out their problems.The Brunei sultan also try to expand the rivers and canals to reduce the amount of water spilling over. Singapore Governments should try to talk to the people to find out their problems and address them accordingly.

    Key issues and concerns today. (sago factory and mosque). Some of the impacts from this issue.How does your host destination go about managing the issues. Key points SG can learn?


    My pre-conception about Brunei was that it would be very rich and would also be clean. I have heard rumours about it being very rich and that during one year, people gave out free money and also knew that it was a great oil refinery. Today, i realised that the rumours were indeed true but, however, i realised that the roads were not as clean as i imagined them to be.

    Some of the key issues is that i came to know the difficulties faced by some here in Brunei and also knew that some of the cities get flooded when it rains. I also came to know about their delicacies and exchanged mine with theirs. I also came to know the differences between Singapore and Brunei which i think i will take note so as to improve Singapore.

  6. Group A part two:

    My pre-conceptions of Brunei was that there will be a lot of houses and buildings almost like in Singapore but bigger. I also expected many areas not to be modernized.

    When I came, I saw many trees and forests and fewer houses that I had imagined it to be.I also realised that most of the areas are modernized but there are some areas left that are still left unmordernized. The houses in Brunei are also cheap and affordable as well as customisable if you have the money.

    For tomorrow, at the Paddy Farm, I am looking forward to seeing how a farm works and also how it is like to be in a farm. For the Water Village, I am looking forward to see the living conditions to live in a house on the water.As for the museum, I am looking forward as I love to see traditional things and the history.
    For the Sago Factory, I think the issue is that the factory is flooded during rain season and it will be hard for the farmers to work. Sago Trees take a long time to grow and it is a long wait to get the sago. As for the worms , I would suggest to wash them to be safer to eat rather than eating them directly.As for the mosque, it is near the river also but it is too open to the river that anyone can fall down any second.
    The impact for the sago factory is that the flooding might slow down the process of getting sago and as the sago trees take a long time to grow, they might affect the frequency of the sago and affect the tradition as it is a traditional dish.And for the mosque, it is dangerous for the people that visits if they are not careful enough.

    Wen Xuan:
    My preconception of Brunei is that it is a very well developed country and it is for the rich as it economy was built up very well due to the fact that they have oil. But when I landed in Brunei it seems like it is just like Singapore it is filled with trees. It is also not as how i thought it to be that it is for the rich.
    I am looking to go to the Padi farm tomorrow

    The key issue and concern of the sago factory is that during the wet season the factory will flood and it also went bankrupt due to the fact that it almost ran out of Rhombia tree at one time. The floods and lack of trees almost made the factory close down at a point and it even ad to stop production. They go around building houses on raised hight so that the water would not reach so far into it. SG can learn by Seeing how to deal with floods even though SG ones are small like those flood at orchard road.

  7. Based on the visit, what are the key issues/ areas of concern related to the activities.

    Jeremy -littering
    Muneerul -maggots
    Rachel and Peihan-heat

    Discuss impacts that stand from this issue. (Elaborate)

    Jeremy -unhygienic, dirty, disease-spreading.
    Muneerul-the maggots are disgusting
    Peihan-the temperature was a little higher than Singapore and that made it a little difficult to carry out the activities and made people sick.
    Rachel-The heat made more people sweat and made us more fatigue which resulted in us not being very efficient as we were not concentrated.

    Result of problems. (Consequence)

    Jeremy -Dirty and made people feel unwell
    Muneerul-People were too afraid of the maggots to concentrate on the activity
    Peihan-The heat caused some sickness amongst the students
    Rachel -The heat made it less efficient
    How does host destination manage the issue. How can SG learn from that?

    Jeremy -The streets were cleaned up regularly and properly
    Muneerul -The people at the maggots made us realise that maggots were not very dirty.
    Peihan- We had an air conditioned bus to transport us from one place to another.
    Rachel- We were provided shade

  8. We also open this channel for parents to comment on the students' postings based on Day 1 experience.