There are a multitude of languages spoken in Brunei. The official language of the state of Brunei is Melayu Brunei. This came into force on 29 September 1959, with the signing of Brunei 1959 Constitution.
English is also widely used as a business and working language. It is also the language of instruction in secondary and tertiary education. Other languages spoken in Brunei include the Chinese, Indian and Native languages spoken by the minority ethnic groups.
Bruneian food is similar to Malay cuisine. Often quite spicy, favourites include satay, broiled fish, BBQ chicken and a variety of rice dishes. Some of the tastiest Bruneian delicacies are available at open-air markets such as Pasar Malam Gadong and Taman Selera in the capital. Restaurants in hotels, shopping centres and downtown BSB serve Chinese, Indian and European food.
• Daging masak lada hitam (spicy beef with potato beans).
• Udang sambal serai bersantan (prawns with chilli and coconut milk).
• Serondeng padang (chicken fried with garlic wrapped in pandan leaves).
• Ambuyat (goo made from ground sago tree pith, dipped in sauce).
• Kelupis (sticky rice steamed in a leaf).
Brunei's climate is hot and humid. Average annual rainfall is about 2500mm along the coast and over 4000mm in the jungle-cloaked hills of the interior. The wettest months are October, November and December, when average rainfall is over 300mm, while the driest are February and March, when average rainfall is about 130mm. November has the most rainy days, while February and March have the fewest.
Temperatures are amazingly constant. The average daily highs ranges from 30°C in December and January to 32°C from April to August. The average overnight low stays in an even narrower range, from 22°C to 23°C, all year long.
The ringgit Brunei (Malay) or the Brunei dollar (English, currency code: BND), has been the currency of the Sultanate of Brunei since 1967. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively B$ to distinguish it from other dollar-dominated currencies, It is divided into 100 sen (Malay) or cents (English).
The Brunei dollar is managed together with the Singapore dollar at a 1:1 ratio by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). (Singapore is one of Brunei's major trading partners. )
Brunei, officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace Haggett, Peter (ed). Encyclopedia of World Geography, Volume 1, Marshall Cavendish, 2001, p. 2913. Available on is around 400, 000 (July 2010).
Brunei can trace its beginnings to the 7th century, when it was a subject state of the Srivijayan empire under the name P'o-li. It later became a vassal state of Majapahit empire before converting to Islam in the 15th century. At the peak of its empire, the sultanate had control that extended over the coastal regions of modern-day Sarawak and Sabah, the Sulu archipelago, and the islands off the northwest tip of Borneo. The thalassocracy was visited by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and fought the Castille War in 1578 against Spain. Its empire began to decline with the forced ceding of Sarawak to James Brooke and the ceding of Sabah to the British North Borneo Chartered Company. After the loss of Limbang, Brunei finally became a British protectorate in 1888, receiving a resident in 1906. In the post-occupation years, it formalised a constitution and fought an armed rebellion. Brunei regained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984. Economic growth during the 1970s and 1990s, averaging 56% from 1999 to 2008, has transformed Brunei Darussalam into a newly industrialised country.
Brunei has the second highest Human Development Index among the South East Asia nations after Singapore, and is classified as a Developed Country. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Brunei is ranked 4th in the world by gross domestic product per capita at purchasing power parity. Data refer to the year 2009.. Retrieved March 29, 2010.
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