Sukan Kitani

Sukan Kitani
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Jumaat, 30 Januari 2009

The 'Padian' & 'Pengalu' in Brunei

Padian in 1920s
Padian in 1930s
Padian in 1950s
Pengalu in 1950s
Pengalu in 1960s
Padian had been a common sight on the Brunei River, much so, it was mentioned by the famous explorer, Antonio Pigafetta in 1521 AD. According to him, Padians had been in this trade for hundreds of years.When the tide rises, the activities such as fishing and trade by the Padian were a common feature. Every day, early in the mornings, boats called gubang, bidar or perahu could be seen. These boats were rowed by women wearing wide hats called siraung. These women would then row from one house to another in Kampong Ayer selling daily necessities such as vegetables, fruits, fish and other daily supplies. Some of them also piled their wares along the jetties near the capital of the now Bandar Seri Begawan.A Padian was seen as a floating market selling all sorts of foodstuffs, vegetables and commodities. A Padian was generally a middleman – making profits from the suppliers or 'Pengalu'.The Padians declined due to a number of factors. By 1906, with migration of the administration from the water village to dry land, it encouraged residents of Kampong Ayer to migrate to the interior parts. The development of the dry land and the capital brought about the existence of markets and tamu or smaller markets. The Padians failed to continue serving as the centre of trade as those markets on dry land begun to develop. However, we should remember that they played an important role in the lifeline and the development of Brunei’s economy for the last 500 years.By 1980’s, Padian activities had slowed down significantly. Today, Padians are no longer to be seen, surviving only in the memory, paintings and photographs. Yet the history of Padians is the history of Kampong Ayer itself.

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