Brunei technically gained independence in January of that year, full control away from the British didn’t come until February.
The culture of Brunei has continued to evolve over hundreds of years. In the 6th century, trade with China was common. After allegiance to the Majapahit empire, Hinduism left an impact. Ferdinand Magellan became the leader of the land by 1521, and then English adventurer James Brooke (more commonly known as Sir James Brooke) in 1841.
By the late 1880s, Brunei was known as a British protectorate. However, Japanese force occupied Brunei in 1941 during World War II until Australian forces came a few years later in June 1945 to liberate the region.
By 1959, Brunei was considered a self-governing state with a new constitution and under Britain’s control. By 1 January 1984, the country gained its independence from the United Kingdom, after almost two decades of being considered a UK protectorate.