Miss World is an annual event held in different countries in turns. It’s a beauty contest, but unlike the also famous Miss Universe which judges based on 3B (Brain-Beauty-Behavior), this contest focuses more on the first B, the Brain (at least that’s what the judges claim). To be honest, I’m never a big fan of this kind of pageant, but this year’s Miss World has successfully caught my attention since it will be held in Indonesia for the first time (info here). 🙂
Being one of the most religious country, as expected there are 2 responses to the contest. The first one would be the open-minded opinion coming from the more liberal parties, saying holding the contest in Indonesia will attract more tourists (especially after the bombing terror in Bali back in 2002 with more than 100 casualties, most of them are international tourists), hence Indonesia can take the chance to introduce its rich culture to the international public. The second one would be the conservative close-minded opinion, and strangely this group is stronger than the first one, saying that holding this contest in Indonesia might contaminate people and it’s not appropriate to hold it here.
I found an article yesterday (the article here, in Bahasa Indonesia though..), a letter actually, from one of the Hindu religious leaders in Bali (for those of you who’s not so familiar with Indonesia, 80ish% of Balinese are Hindu), stating his disappointment about how Muslim religious leaders have reacted to Miss World 2013. Some groups have even created and popularized the hashtag #tolakmissword (yes, with an ‘l’ missing and yes, it translates to “reject miss world” – without an ‘l’ in the word “world”, but you get the point, right?) on Twitter. The minister of religion of Indonesia has earlier stated about his concerns regarding how the contest might influence Indonesian’s moral values and so he strongly objects the contest. Putu Setia, the article’s writer, emphasized that this is a cultural event and if religion is the problem, then we have to consider that the event organizer has asked for permission to the Hindu temples (the religion of majority of Balinese).
Moreover, IMO the always-claimed “unity in diversity” country of Indonesia has lost its value due to some groups’ domination and vocals. These infamous groups are really controversial, bringing religion up in defense where actually many people of the religion disagree to their opinions, yet so strong that nobody can replace or get rid of. I cannot say more since I’m nobody to the country and even more, I’m the minority (where if I speak up, people will think that I’m trying to offend the majority and in earlier years I might even be caught up and murdered in silence), but I’m seeing that if these groups are kept this way, Indonesia will be descending instead of ascending in the eyes of other countries. Hence the internal colonialism and we’re going to go back to the years of primal time.