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Friday 24th March
Brunei Information - Page 2
History
In the fifteenth century present-day Brunei was part of an empire which included Sarawak and Sabah and reached almost as far as Manila in the Philippines.

Towards the end of the 1880s Brunei became a British Protectorate; administration by a British Resident began in 1906.

During the Second World War, between 1941 and 1945, Brunei was occupied by the Japanese.

In 1963 Brunei decided not to join the Federation of Malaysia and remained a British dependency.

Brunei gained independence in 1984, and became a member of ASEAN (the Association of South-East Asian Nations: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand).

Brunei is a monarchy and has been ruled by the same family for over six centuries.

Economy
Since the discovery of major oilfields in Brunei, in the 1920s, oil and gas has dominated Brunei's economy. More recently Brunei has focused on its financial sector, information technology and eco-tourism.

Production of oil, natural gas and construction provides employment for a large percentage of the working population; a significant percentage of the labour force is employed by the government. (2008)

Arts
Traditional crafts in Brunei are weaving, silver and brass work, and jewellery. The Arts and Handicraft Centre along the Brunei River was established to revive local crafts.

The Brunei Museum has a collection of Islamic art and the Malay Technology Museum portrays traditional Bruneian technologies such as construction, boat building, and metal work.

Cultural performances in Brunei consist of traditional and contemporary music, song, dance and drama.

Sport
Football is a popular team sport in Brunei. Basketball is also played.

Facilities for track and field and other sports are available in the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Water sports are scuba diving, water skiing, and sailing.

Holidays
All Islamic holidays are celebrated. National day is on 23 February (independence from British Protection). Other holidays include Brunei Armed Forces Day - 31 May, and His Majesty the Sultan's Birthday.

News
News from Brunei is available from Newslink.

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