News / Asia

Miss World Drops Bikini Contest, Adopts Indonesian Norms

Winner of Miss Indonesia 2011 Astrid Ellena Indriana Yunadi, center right, stands with Miss World 2010, pageant final, Jakarta, June 4, 2011 (file photo).
Winner of Miss Indonesia 2011 Astrid Ellena Indriana Yunadi, center right, stands with Miss World 2010, pageant final, Jakarta, June 4, 2011 (file photo).
VOA News
The Miss World contest says it will skip its usual bikini contest this year during its annual pageant on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Pageant officials say the contest will be adapting to the cultural norms of the conservative, Muslim majority country, where some conservatives have criticized the event.
Miss World organizer Budi Rustanto says the bikini competition will be transformed this year into a beach fashion show with all the contestants clad in traditional Balinese sarongs.
"Everything that is used during the event in Indonesia, like batik and kebaya traditional blouse, will have to be created by Indonesian designers," he said. "They also must use materials and foods from Indonesia. In short, they have to help promote tourism, to create the image that Indonesia is a safe and comfortable place, to further encourage investment in this country."
But the change does not seem to have satisfied many of the conservative Islamic critics of the event.
A number of scholars and Islamic organizations have urged the Indonesian government to cancel the pageant, saying it does not correspond to the values of Indonesian culture.
The Chairman of the Governing Board of the Centre Youth of Muhammadiyah, Saleh Partaonan Daulay, says there are more dignified ways to hold such a competition in Indonesia.
"Miss World is not compatible with Indonesia’s culture, traditions, and local wisdom," he said. "We do not judge a woman just by her physical beauty, since you have to judge someone as a whole, not just by looking at her facial and physical appearances, nor the way she walks."
Supporters of the contest say it will help promote tourism in Bali, which relies on visitors for a large part of its local economy. The competition opens on the majority Hindu island this week, and the finale will be held near Jakarta on September 28.
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.

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Comment Sorting
by: Sage Chris from: Calmar
September 30, 2013 2:38 PM
Here is The Sage News view of this bikini controversy:

by: ven from: sby
September 27, 2013 10:14 AM
i really cant understand how some people cant respect someone's else mind...
i hope muslem people who called that indonesia their country, understand and REALIZED whether this is not ur country.. u are living with multicultural people.. so try to understand them..

if u cant, then make it better!! dont complaint and start bring ur religion to defend and banned something.

by: Ichan from: Central Celebes Indonesia
September 05, 2013 2:51 AM
I'm Indonesian Muslim.
Most of our people dosn't really matter about bikinis or not. Miss World on Indonesia is a big-hug to bring our country to the world. But several Muslim (their voices not actualy most of muslim Indonesia, just a little) wants diferent. So pity, the radical muslim still ground in our country. Actualy its just bring Indonesia to down earth.

Don't worry, all people on Bali and most Indonesian people support Miss World Pageant...

by: Deepak Skaner from: Montreal
September 03, 2013 2:38 PM
If women in bikinis are sinful, I wonder what Indonesian cultural authorities think about famous historic paintings and scupltures depicting nude humans, and I'm not referring just to European art works, but those of ancient India, Egypt, etc? The views of these Islamic religious leaders are nothing short of Fascist, just as the regimes of Hitler and Stalin were, in which depiction of nude female beauty was banned for the reason that it was regarded an enticement for moral corruption and infidelity.

Is it a coincidence that such regimes all share one thing in common, a belief that their system is the ideal model of ultimate purity and most deserving to rule the world", inferring a need to eliminate those who do not share this belief, ad hoc, the "infidels". So it becomes more than obvious year after year in this highly civilized age, where science and fact rules the entire world, or should, that the evolved human race, namely, the secular West, has a new formidable enemy to confront and defeat: moderate Islam.

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