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Cross-Cultural Pragmatic Between Dusun And Malay Communities In Brunei Darussalam

Cross-Cultural Pragmatic between Dusun  and Malay Communities in Brunei Darussalam


Based on this research, Brunei Darussalam is an Islamic  country that has Islamic values  and traditions.  It is  one of the smallest countries in the world.  The country is led by  the present monarch, Sultan Hajj Hassanal Bolkiah;  and has an estimated population of  350,000 plus, which consists of  53 percent men and 47 percent women. And, Dusun is a small  ethnic and linguistic group in  Brunei Darussalam. They are also one of the seven Bumiputera groups in Brunei. Dusun communities  speak  Dusun language.  The word “Dusun” is a Malay word which derived from “Orang Dusun” means  “ men of the orchards” because  their houses  are surrounded with various fruit trees.  Even before the British colonialism in Sabah, Dusun people have  already   existed in Brunei. This word was given to them by the  Sultan of Brunei, for  most parts of the west coast of Sabah were led  by the Sultan of Brunei who also   collects taxes from the "Orang Dusun" called "Duis" which was also referred to as the "River Tax". But these people  are more preferred to be called simply as  “Kadazan or Kadayan” also their dialect which means   “the people of the land.” The Dusun  communities    trade in  their  agricultural and forest products for   other food that they do not have.  They called their    trading activities as “mongimbadi.”  Most of the Dusun people live in the hills and   in upland valleys.  They are peaceful, hospitable, hardworking, frugal,  drinkers , and they are anti -violence people.  At this time and age, several Dusun communities are already working in the  government  and private  sectors as employees,  maids,  and  some of them become business owners. There are  also Dusun who  studied their college education in  the   United States, England, Australia and New Zealand.  This is the very reason that they have the  skills and abilities to   operate their own businesses, as well as to  do highly-demanded office work.  Dusuns are inclined   to arts and music; they have traditional dances that are  attractive, gentle  and full of passion for life. 

To sum it all,  Dusun  communities   have   beautiful and popular  culture and tradition, as well as enriched language.  ( )

On the other hand, Malays are the  indigenous communities of Malay, Kedayan, Tutong, Belait, Bisaya, Dusun and Murut, constitutes the major population group numbering at 223,500 (67.6%).  Malay communities in Brunei Darussalam  have still preserved the dress culture of wearing ‘Cara Melayu,' this is a traditional   attire of men  with a “Sinjang” or a woven cloth which wrapped  around the waist of  men during official  and religious events.  This way of dressing among  Malay men  is considered neat, polite and represents  the Malay identity. All the same, not many people know  about  the  excellent quality and originality of the design of ‘Kain Sinjang' especially those made from the traditional ‘Kain Songket' or cloth woven with gold threads.  As a matter of fact,  the Brunei government  spent a large of money just to preserve  the  “Kain Songket”  heritage in a cultural training center in the country.  This is one way of    honing the  weavering skills  of the Malays  that eventually gives  majority of the communities   stable income and business for some who have enough capital.  Cloth weavering is  a  very essential part of Brunei's customs and traditions that  has transferred from one generation to another.  The price of the  traditional “Kain Songket”  is appropriately a thousand dollars; and it all depends on the  quality of cotton thread, design and weaving used.  The official language of Brunei Darussalam  is Bahasa Melayu, however, English language  is also widely spoken  in the field of  business and commerce.   country.



Malays  make up around  67% of the 357,800 strong population that includes various  indigenous group of people such as   Kedaya, Tutong, Belait, Bisaya, Dusan and Murut tribes.

In Brunei Darussalam,  there are some basic  codes of conduct that  both Dusun and Malay communities follow in their daily living.  First, they  are only allowed to use their right hand  in offering or handling something  to other person. Because left  hand is considered  unclean  in their Islam belief.  Second, pointing with a forefinger is considered rude, instead, they use right-hand thumb in pointing.  Thirdly, Bruneians  usually shake hands  by just lightly touching  the other person's hand. But for some Muslims, they do not shake hands at all.  Fourthly, it is a must to accept   any kind of food and drinks  offered  by other people.  Fifth, touching    people's head is a sign of being disrespectful,  for this part of human body  is considered sacred.  Sixth,  people are not also allowed to stand with their hands on their hips,  it is considered  rude.  Showing  affection in  public places is  also considered improper. And, removing shoes or slippers before entering a house is a sign of respect for the house owners.

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