Brunei-Muara - Brunei‘s museums need to do more to educate people to appreciate the institutions that store the sultanate‘s most precious historical artifacts, some Bruneians said.
Only two out of 10 Bruneians would enjoy history, said Lim Han, a Universiti Brunei Darussalam student. The majority of them would spend their time at the shopping mall or the arcade instead.
Lim, 22, who has visited Brunei‘s museums for more than 100 times, said that Bruneians in general find it "boring" and lack the curiosity to understand Brunei‘s history.
"One of the reasons that the museums do not make an effort to improve, is because Bruneians do not treasure the place," he said, adding that there were instances where the air-conditioner was not functioning during his visits.
The student majoring in primary education, said that when he last visited the museum one week ago, there were only a few tourists and "one or two Bruneians".
He said that he enjoyed going to the museum because "being there to see the display of artifacts, I feel closer to what happened in the past."
Lim suggested the idea of the museums organising annual competitions and inviting children as part of their school excursion trips.
"Most children study history based on the memorisation of facts, rather than fully understanding," he added.
Harpan Hj Yusof, a father of three said that the museums need to improve their image by introducing new ideas on showcasing the artifacts, which signify Brunei‘s rich local and cultural heritage.
"It is a bit sad that most Bruneians are not really interested in the history of Brunei, but would go to The Mall for entertainment purposes," said Mohd Azwan Hj Mahudin.
The Institut Teknologi Brunei student, who last visited the Royal Regalia Building three years ago, said that museums can be a family outing that allow family members to bond.
More information dissemination would help the museums to stimulate interest among Bruneians, he said.
The Brunei Museum in Kota Batu has collections on Islamic art documenting the origins of Brunei‘s culture, military artifacts and a wide range of natural history subjects, particularly the fauna of Brunei Darussalam.
Source: www.bruneitimes.com (23 Juli 2007)