DAM wants Kumang drag queen competition banned

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Miri: Pertandingan ratu cantik yang menampilkan golongan pondan memakai pakaian tradisional kaum Iban atau tema harus diharamkan serta-merta kerana ia mencemarkan kebudayaan, sejarah dan kesucian tradisi lama masyarakat Iban di Sarawak.

Desakan itu disuarakan oleh Presiden Persatuan Dayak Miri (DAM) Serawa Budol yang menganggap pertandingan seperti itu atau lebih dikenali ‘Drag Queen Competition’ tidak harus dianjurkan sama sekali kerana ia menghina budaya kaum Iban, bangsa, agama, legenda, tradisi, imej dan sensitiviti.

“Pondan, terutamanya tidak diterima dalam budaya Iban,” katanya kepada Bernama dan menambah apa jua istilah yang digunakan oleh pihak penganjur tidak harus ada kaitan dengan tradisi Iban.

Serawa membangkitkan perkara itu selepas masyarakat Iban di sini mengkritik hebat penganjuran pertandingan Drag Queen anjuran sebuah kafe tempatan yang memaparkan golongan pondan memakai pakaian adat wanita Iban sempena sambutan perayaan Gawai yang disambut pada 1 dan 2 Jun.

Pertandingan itu dijadual diadakan pada 22 Mei, mengetengahkan tema ‘gaun malam bermotifkan Pua Kumbu’ dan ia disebar secara meluas di media sosial.

Pihak penganjur boleh menamakan pertandingan itu dengan apa sahaja nama tetapi jangan gunakan istilah Kumang dan sudah semestinya tidak boleh guna pakaian tradisional Iban,” katanya dan menambah ‘Kumang’ sering dirujuk sebagai wanita dan tidak pernah menjadi pondan.

‘Kumang’ yang bermaksud ‘dewi ibu’ dalam mitos Iban sinonim dengan pertandingan ratu cantik etnik Iban kerana kecantikan dan sifat-sifatnya yang lembut.

Malah Serawa berkata pihak penganjur tidak boleh menggunakan tema Pua Kumbu kerana ia adalah warisan budaya Iban dan mesti dihormati.

Pertandingan itu menjadi viral di laman media apabila banyak pihak yang membantah termasuk bekas pelari pecut negara dan pemegang rekod 100 meter, Watson Nyambek yang paling kuat mengkritik.

Watson apabila dihubungi Bernama berkata pertandingan itu akan memalukan komuniti Iban keseluruhannya dan menyokong cadangan pengharaman pertandingan itu.

Sementara itu, Bernama ketika menghubungi penganjur pertandingan yang enggan dikenali berkata, acara itu telah dibatalkan.

- Bernama

MIRI: The beauty queen competition featuring transvestites using Iban traditional customs or theme should be banned immediately as it tarnishes the cultural, historical and sancity of the old-age tradition of the Iban community in Sarawak.

Dayak Association of Miri (DAM) president Serawa Budol said this type of competition or popularly known as drag queen competition should not be organised at all as it was insulting to Iban culture, race, religion, legend, tradition, image and sensitivities.

“Pondan (transvestites) in the first place is not acceptable to Iban culture,” she told Bernama here yesterday.

Her comment was in the wake of fierce criticisms by the Iban community here of the Draq Queen competition organised by a local cafe which depicted transvestites in Iban female traditional attire in conjunction with the Gawai celebration that will be celebrated on June 1 and 2.

The competition was scheduled to be held on May 22 themed ‘long evening dress with Pua Kumbu motifs’ and it was widely advertised in the social media.
“The organisers can name the competition with any names but do not use the term ‘kumang’ and definitely not Iban customs,” she said adding that kumang always referred to a woman and had never been a transvestite.

The ‘Kumang’ which means ‘mother goddess’ in Iban mythology is synonymous with Iban ethnic beauty pageants due to its beauty and womanly attributes.
She said even the organiser cannot use the ‘pua kumbu’ theme as it is part of the Iban cultural heritage and must be respected.
The competition went viral in the social media with many criticising it, including former national sprinter and 100 metres record holder Watson Nyambek who was a vocal critic.

Meanwhile when contacted by Bernama, the organiser of the event, who requested anonymity, said the event had been cancelled indefinitely. — Bernama

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