When Antonio Pigafetta, who sailed with Magellan, visted Brunei Darussalam in 1521, he wrote,"When the tides rises the women go in boats through the city selling provision and necessities." (quote from a Primary 4 History text book).
As a request from a good friend of mine, he asked me to do an article on padian eventho in the Belait District i can't recall regards on the exsist of a padian, maybe in Kampong Sg Teraban, which i'm not sure of that.
Today only a handful of these women vendors or padian remain, all of them are elderly. These women who for long served the people of Kampung Ayer in Brunei Darussalam capital, Bandar Seri Begawan,paddling thier tiny boats around the houses to sell their goods.There are easily recognised by huge hats called seraung which protected them from the sun and the rain. Sources from my friend working in the Brunei Muara District Office, nowdays the padian abandoned paddling around the house of Kampung Ayer and now concentrate on selling to people who pass by the town waterfront near water taxis landing point each day.
Before they would paddle their boats everyway but now they don't dare to paddle out in the river now due to the fast and furious so called water taxis in the river.
Padian would usually sell fish, prawns, crabs,mussels, shellfish and vegetables and other daily needs.