Thursday, 14 February 2013

Brunei Darussalam Local customs

Mosque in Kampong Ayer
Mosque in Kampong Ayer
As it is difficult to give general guidelines on what behaviour is acceptable to different groups of people on different occasions, this section aims to give general guidelines and background information only.
The life of the average Bruneian revolves around his religion, Islam, with certain things being forbidden (haram), certain things being tolerated but not encouraged (makruh) and certain things which fall under the embrace of Islam (halal). Pork, the consumption of alcohol, eating meat not slaughtered under Islamic guidance, casual touching, adultery and coming into contact with the wet nose or hair of a dog are haram. Smoking is considered makruh.
Kampong Ayer in Brunei
Kampong Ayer in Brunei

About Brunei Darussalam Culture

Some of the basic codes of conduct, as in most Islamic countries, are as follows:
  • Use only the right hand when offering or passing something as the left hand is considered to be unclean.
  • Do not point with the forefinger, as this is considered rude. It is better to point with the thumb of the  right-hand.
    When beckoning someone, use an open hand with the fingers waving downwards.
  • Bruneians shake hands by only lightly touching and then bringing the hands to the chest. However, some Muslims prefer not to shake hands at all.
    It is not customary for members of the opposite sex to shake hands.
  • When sitting, especially on the floor, make sure the soles of the feet do not point to anyone, but are either  tucked under the body, or pointing towards the floor.
  • Do not point your feet towards anyone or point at something.
  • Do not smack the fist of your right hand into your left palm.
  • It is polite to accept even just a little food and drink when offered. When refusing anything offered, it's  polite to touch the plate lightly with the right hand.
  • Do not stand with your hands on your hips as this is considered rude.
  • Do not touch people on the head. This is regarded as extremely disrespectful as the top of the head is  considered a sacred spot.
  • Avoid public display of affection as this is seen in bad taste.
  • Unless instructed by the owner to do otherwise, remove your shoes when entering a house.
source :

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