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03/12 Sunday 09:53AM

Brunei PechaKucha Night

Less Yadda Yadda, More PechaKucha:
Show-telling our stories, precisely

| By Huwaida Ishaaq |

A little after 7pm one Saturday night in Bandar Seri Begawan, people started shuffling into a start-up co-working space, greeted by smiling volunteers dressed in black or grey, delicate fairy lights strewn over empty wood frames and a misfit of stools and plastic chairs that have been arranged, more or less, in theatre style seating.
They were attending the city’s inaugural PechaKucha Night, despite not yet being familiar to the concept.  Alex Chai, an entrepreneur in his thirties, was one of the first to arrive, and when asked what the night will be about, he admitted that he had no idea.  “I wouldn’t be here if not for one of the volunteers, who seems passionate about it,” he said.  “All I understood was that it would be an awesome gathering, sharing and learning space.” 

24 year old piano pedagogue, Rebecca Chin, heard from one of the organising team members that PechaKucha is a style of presentation that is concise and personal.  When she learnt that the series was debuting in Bandar, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be part of it.

The idea of PechaKucha is not easy to grasp at first stroke. Say Pey-chak-ke-cha-Pey-chak-ke-cha-Pey-chak-ke-cha, and you hear the meaning of this Japanese word.  This is the sound of conversation, or chit chat, a rumbling in the room.

A PechaKucha Night is a social networking event where people share their passions, and socialise.  The presentations must adhere to a precise 20 by 20 format – display your message across 20 images, with each image shown for only 20 seconds before it automatically moves on to the next.  No turning back, no fast forwarding, no yadda yadda.  Six minutes and forty seconds is all you have before the next presenter takes the stage.

Partners Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo-based Klein Dytham Architecture decided 11 years ago to create an informal showcasing space for people, especially architects, designers and creatives.  Since then, PechaKucha and the PechaKucha Nights have taken the world by storm.  To date, there are nearly 800 active cities holding PechaKucha events.

Entirely volunteer run, and non-profit based, PechaKucha has come to Bandar Seri Begawan, for the sheer pleasure of sharing the creativity of the city with the rest of the world. For PechaKuchaBSB’s debut, TruSynergy offered the co-working space as a venue and KFC Brunei sponsored the shoulder bag which was filled with a packet of pretzels mixed with gem biscuits and, curiously, a pack of tissues.

As diverse as the presentations were the audience, as social media personality, Rano Iskandar, pointed out.  “There are many people here I have not seen before in other similar events,” he said. University student, Firdaus Ismail, opted to come to PKN instead of a friend’s gathering and had no regrets.  ”PeckaKucha was awesome!” he said, and gave the night a thumbs up.

Leaving that evening, the question in most of people’s minds was, ‘When is the next one?’ 
To find out, follow PechaKuchaBSB on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or subscribe to www.pechakucha.org/cities/bandar-seri-begawan

There are five to six PechaKucha event happening somewhere in the world a day.
Visit www.pechakucha.org to view over 3,000 presentations and get information on a PKN near you.

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