There are few things in life that interest me less than football. But Ailsa’s World Cup travel theme really grabbed my attention this week. Forget playing the beautiful game; play games beautifully with words instead! Brilliant.
Although the structure itself is pretty unusual, it’s moniker is not exactly a startling surprise; it is known as the Teapot Roundabout. Found in Kuala Belait, it is one of the quirkier finds anywhere in Brunei.
The teapot represents the Sultan, pouring his love out evenly to his people in all four districts of Brunei; Belait, Tutong, Brunei-Muara, and Temburong.
The teapot and cups motif is a well considered, culturally grounded choice. Kuala Belait is only minutes drive from the border with the Malaysian state of Sarawak. In Malaysia, teh tarik – a strong, hot, sweet, milky tea, made with tea and condensed milk, and poured from on high to produce frothy, foamy cups of tea – is considered the national drink. With so much cultural intermingling over the years, it comes as no surprise that teh tarik is a favourite with Bruneians too.
The underlying symbolism is a tribute to the Bruneian people’s affection for their beloved leader, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. Whatever international and political dissenters may say, he is revered as a great and glorious leader by his people.