The cultural clash between neighbouring countries Malaysia and Indonesia has been a sensitive topic.

Recently, our representative for the Miss Grand International, Mel Dequanne Abar wore a wayang kulit-inspired outfit, complete with its significant traditional crown for the promotional shoot for the beauty pageant. However, Indonesians are laying claim that the outfit is a part of their culture.


Mel Dequanne Abar, Miss Grand Malaysia wearing the national costume for Miss Grand International 2019.The Storyteller…

Posted by Miss Grand Malaysia on Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Based on this post by Miss Grand Malaysia’s official Facebook page, the dress is adapted from the Hindu’s Ramayana (“Hikayat Seri Rama”). The folklore tale is no stranger among the community of Kedah and also Kelantan.

As a result of the cultural clash, there has been some debate going on among netizens. Some even claimed that even the UNESCO has verified that wayang kulit culture is Indonesian.

Twitter user known as Nadia J (@AchuNadia) decided to step in to address the ongoing argument. According to her, the wayang kulit does not belong to one country only, but it’s a part of several cultures and traditions around the world. Check out her tweet here:

However, the tweet has been deleted by Nadia at the time of writing (Thursday 10th October). Despite the dispute, many feel that the issue is not worth fighting over. Since Malaysia and Indonesia are neighbours, it’s normal to share a few aspects when it comes to culture as well as traditions.


Apart from that, some also shared that wayang kulit is not an exclusive property of Malaysians and Indonesians only. Other parts of the country like China, India, Nepal and even Turkey have their own rendition of the way they portray the performance.

There’s really no need to condemn one over the other.

Sources: VOCKETLobak Merah.

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