Bandar Seri Begawan - In a bid to promote reading culture among youth and develop their cognitive ability, the Language and Literature Bureau has organised a story-telling contest which began yesterday.
The first for the bureau, the competition is open to youths between the age of 13 and 20.
In the competition contestants are required to create a sketch, a mini play with scripts, to be acted on stage.
The story must carry an aspect of Bruneian arts and culture such as syair, batuturan, pantun.
A group theatrical effort, the medium of the competition is either the standard Malay, Bruneian Malay or popular Kedayan Malay dialect.
The bureau hopes that the contest can increase and enhance cooperation with libraries and schools throughout the country‘s four districts.
The contest is also aimed to get the youths to know more of, and be familiar with, the Bruneian Malay‘s art culture, and to ensure that this national heritage will be preserved.
This is especially significant at the time when youths have convenient access to all kinds of entertainment.
"Planning for the event began as early as January this year," said Hjh Noreidah Hj Ibrahim, a secretary at the Language and Literature Bureau.
According to the organiser the competition is also to promote interest in reading among the young people and to develop and expand their cognitive ability.
The competition will end tomorrow with a prize giving ceremony at the main hall of the Language and Literature Bureau in Berakas.
Speaking to The Brunei Times,, Awg Muhamad Rajap, an education officer at the Ministry of Education, said that judging will be based on three main factors namely significance of the story, content and educational values.
"The play has to have entertainment value, carry information and be educational, all within the context of the title of the play," he said.
"The cohesiveness of all three is very important," he added.
The panel of judges comprised of Awg Muhamad, a respected Malay scholar, Awg Hj Md Hussain Abd Rahman and Dyg Ena Herni Wasli from Universiti Brunei Darussalam.
Eight groups, mostly made up of students, are taking part in the competition and one group representing the bureau itself.
One of the participating groups, Nur Sohibati from the Tutong district said, "We prepare everything on our own, using our own money for props and backdrops and we had one week to practise."
They said they found out about the competition from the Tutong Library.
Judge Hj Md Hussain said, "Most scripts are centered around the classroom environment and carry content pertinent to youths of that age. That is chiefly motivation, future prospects and peers."
Source: www.bruneitimes.com (11 Juni 2007)