Miss, Mrs Kebaya pageantry helps youngsters appreciate cultural heritage

Last update: 20/09/2019

By Shaidathul Suhana Ros

MELAKA, Sept 20  -- The Miss and Mrs Malaysia Kebaya 2019 pageant is a platform to promote and highlight the traditional outfit to the international scene, as well as introduce it to the younger generation to enable them to appreciate local cultural heritage.

According to Miss Malaysia Kebaya (MMK) founder and president Dr Jason Hee Jee Pin, rapid changes in fashion in the country, had caused many, especially the younger generation, to forget about traditional attire such as the 'kebaya' which should in fact be a unique symbol of pride.

“The kebaya is an evergreen dress as it can be improvised with a variety of modern elements, transforming into attire with a high aesthetic value. Moreover, it is part of our national heritage and youngsters should appreciate the legacy left by their ancestors.

“This programme is an effort we undertake regularly to help preserve this treasure,” he told Bernama after the state-level Miss and Mrs Malaysia Kebaya 2019 pageant here, last night.

Also present were Bemban assemblyman Datuk Dr Wong Fort Pin, Duyong assemblyman Damian Yeo Shen Li and Miss International Kebaya director Nicole Fe Lynne.

During the event, 24-year-old Noor Sheryl Aida Mohd Ropian outshined seven other contestants to win the Miss Melaka Kebaya 2019 title, while 25-year-old Nur Shafira Mohamad Dahlan beat nine others to be crowned Mrs Melaka Kebaya 2019.

Both winners received RM10,000 each and will go on to represent Melaka at the Miss and Mrs Malaysia Kebaya 2019 national grand final to be held in Kuala Lumpur, this November.

Hee explained that out of 60 participants, only 18 qualified for the finals comprising eight in the Miss Melaka Kebaya category, and 10 in the Mrs Melaka Kebaya category - all finalists donned the 'nyonya kebaya', a traditional outfit from the Peranakan community.

He said the competition was founded in 2012, and open to Malaysian citizens regardless of race, background and religion. 

The Miss Kebaya category is for girls aged 18 to 35, while Mrs Kebaya is for married women aged 21 to 50.