The Indian Association of Belait (IAB) is a non-profit association registered in Brunei for people of Indian origin irrespective of which country they come from. The association aims to create awareness of India's and Brunei's culture among the residents of Belait and contribute to charity for the residents.
The association was formally registered on 19 September 1949. Indians have come to Brunei from different walks of life. They have contributed as teachers, doctors, engineers and others (predominantly in construction). Indians here in Brunei come from different regions of India and from nearby countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
Indian community from all parts of India have contributed their cultural heritage along with the food delicacies within the IAB. Till this day, the exchange of ideas and culture within the communities exists and will continue.
It was a well-known fact that large number of Indians residing in Belait District were predominantly local Brunei ethnic Indians. Today, this group of Indians have gone through cross marriages and has merged nicely with the Bruneian concept whist still maintaining the roots. This growth has further sustained with the growing form of engagement of ethnic Indians with the expatriate Indians who are continuing to find employment in the abode of peace Brunei Darussalam.
Indian Association of Belait (IAB) building was firmed and constructed around 1950. The place in Seria where the IAB is currently situated was a place full of swampy conditions. As oil and gas sector flourished in in Brunei, the swampy lands made way for construction of facilities and IAB building came to realisation. The building is unique in the sense that from the idea to building its physical completion was carried out by Indians for the Indians. The building also has a heritage of one of the very first permanent building to be built around that time.
The building quickly became a hive for the Indians to gather and mingle to learn from each other’s. The men, women and children quickly established themselves and started the various events that till this day exists. Through time immemorial, the building itself has continued to host various events ranging from marriage, festivals, cultural classes, language classes, musical and drama performances.
Membership of association is open to all individuals of Indian origin and wishes to support IAB activities. Four membership types are available for the association:
- Life Member
- Full Members (Available for citizens and permanent residents of Brunei Darussalam), To be renewed annually
- General & Associate Members, To be renewed annually
- Low Income Members, To be renewed annually
- Association came on existence on 19 Sep 1949
- Association building constructed in 1950
- Over 500 members of association