culture mainly derived from the Old Malay
World, a territory which covered the Malay
Archipelago. Brunei’s culture is therefore
deeply rooted in its Malay origins, which
are reflected in the nation’s language,
architecture, ceremonies, and customs governing
daily life. Though various foreign civilisations
have played a role in forming Brunei’s
rich history, the traditions of the Old
Malay World have left an indelible mark
on the culture of modern Brunei.
Today, Bruneians are predominantly Malay,
though significant Chinese, Indian and indigenous
Bornean populations add to the cultural
makeup of Brunei. Brunei’s blend of
cultures, customs, beliefs and customs is
therefore very similar to that of Malaysia.
The nation’s official language is
Malay, but English is widely spoken by most
of the population, and most signs in the
country are written in Roman script.
If Malay traditions are Brunei’s cultural
root, then Islam is its heart. The nation’s
Malay Islamic Monarchy is a uniquely Bruneian
blend combining the best of Malay culture
with the teachings of Islam and a mutual
respect between ruler and subjects. This
national philosophy is aimed at forging
a stronger sense of identity as well as
fostering unity and stability, and it forms
the backbone of Bruneian cultural identity.
While Brunei is indeed a devoutly Muslim
country, the national philosophy is one
of respectful tolerance, allowing for the
practice of other religions and beliefs.