Miss Grand Malaysia 2020, Jasebel Robert, is currently in Bangkok, Thailand to compete in the Miss Grand International 2020 beauty pageant.
She’ll be going up against 63 countries from 15-27 March 2020 and today, she’s about to reveal something special – our national costume.
From Kelantan to Bangkok
Jasebel’s national costume is inspired by the Mak Yong dance theatre and will be named ‘Mak Yong – The Legend of Khatijah Awang’.
The costume designed by Ain Mohamad from Kelantan is bound to be a showstopper and get heads turning thanks to its intricate details that reflects our cultural heritage.
The inspiration of the costume comes from an adaptionof the late primadonna, Khatijah Awang.
“I am humbled for this opportunity and the chance to represent our country, even during this challenging time. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed the world in many perspectives, and this includes me personally.”
“I take this opportunity to be a great ambassador for our country Malaysia, and by wearing the Mak Yong costume is the best representation to continue to promote this dying culture especially amongst younger generation,” said Jasebel Robert, Miss Grand Malaysia 2020.
The national costume competition will be held on 24 March with preliminary competition on 25 March before culminating to the final event on 27 March in Bangkok.
Cultural significanceMak Yong dance theatre was declared as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005 because of its dying practise in Malaysia.
In the olden days, Mak Yong is a Malay theatrical dance performed for entertainment and healing ceremonies mainly in Kelantan.
A performance begins by paying respect to the spirits (semah kumpung) with an offering. This is followed by dancing, acting, and improvised dialogues. Stories were presented in a series of three-hour performances over several nights.
It is said that the dance originated from Pattani, Thailand and was introduced to Kelantan and even in Kedah over 200 years ago.
Mak Yong was initially performed only for royalty until it was performed for the public in the 1920s.