THE Month of May is when the Harvest Festival celebration is held in Sabah.
Everywhere — villages, townships and districts — will be marking the event. And inevitably, the beauty pageant, arguably, the highlight of the festival, will also be held. This is when a bevy of beauties line up and hope to be crowned Miss Harvest Festival Queen or Unduk Ngadau.
There are, however, many Sabahan women who are gorgeous in their own way but unable to enter this beauty contest because they are ethnically not qualified.
As such, they enter other beauty contests such as the Miss Teenage 2012, organised by Sri Andaman, a bridal house, at the Sabah Oriental Hotel recently.
Fourteen young girls joined to showcase their fashion sense, talent and IQ. Ten were shortlisted with six making the final cut.
Musyrat Shahen Wahid, 22, from Ranau and of Pakistani Dusun descent, said she would love to join the Unduk Ngadau pageant but believed it was meant for pure Kadazandusuns.
“I live in a Dusun community as my mother is Dusun and I understand the culture and traditions. The pageant is a good way to preserve our rich heritage, especially through the costumes,” she shared.
According to her, the identity of a people is through their traditions and as such, the relevant authorities are doing a good job preserving local traditions by organising the Unduk Ngadau contest.
“Although I can’t join the Harvest Festival Beauty Queen pageant, I’m still curious about how it feels walking or parading in front of so many people. I wanted to see if I could do it, so I decided to join the Miss Teenage competition.”
Musyrat Shahen who wants to be an entrepreneur, believes the stage experience will give her the confidence to face customers and clients when she starts her own business.
“I’m sure the stage fright is the ultimate and nothing else will be more intimidating.”
She also likes to model part time and is ready to do product endorsements and photo shoots for fashion and make-up. Her make-up for the Miss Teenage contest was done by Adam Zed, a well-known local make-up artist.