Who knew that one of our country’s mystical tale the Ulek Mayang would make it to the international stage?
Malaysia will feature the ‘7 Ancient Princesses of Ulek Mayang national costume’ at the National Costume Showcase in Bangkok, Thailand, for Miss Grand International 2021.
Lishalliny Kanaran, Miss Grand Malaysia 2021, will model the national costume, which weighs 50 kilogrammes designed by Aldrin Artistry, a Sarawak-based designer, alongside 60 other delegates from around the world competing for the Best National Costume Award, which will be announced at the final show on 4th December at SHOW DC Hall in Bangkok.
The 9th Miss Grand International started on 17th November in Phuket, Thailand, with delegates visiting important tourist spots where the city has opened its borders to international tourists as part of the government of Thailand’s economic recovery plan through the sandbox programme initiative.
Despite the fact that many countries still have travel restrictions, Lishalliny’s participation at the international pageant in Thailand is made possible thanks to Durio, Malaysia’s leading face mask company.
The Folklore Tale Of Ulek Mayang
Ulek Mayang, originating in Terengganu, is an old folk song and dance performed as a healing ritual for a fisherman who became ill at sea whose illness is believed to be caused by sea spirits, and could only be cured by summoning the sea spirits and sending them back to the dark watery depths.
The song portrays the story of a sea princess who falls in love with a fisherman while he is at sea. The princess snatches the fisherman’s soul, leading him to enter a semi-conscious trance-like state. When they return to shore, the fisherman’s pals seek the help of a traditional healer (bomoh) to revive his spirit and heal him.
Using a mayang (coconut palm blossom), kemenyan (benzoin resin), and offerings of coloured rice, the bomoh summons the spirit of the sea-princess and her five sisters to aid her grab the object of her desire during the healing ritual. The bomoh and the six princesses engage in a tug-of-war for the fishermen’s soul. “I know your roots, let those from the water return to the sea, let those from the land return to the land,” the seventh and eldest princess says as she sends her sisters back to sea. She frees the fisherman’s soul and restores his health.
The judging committee picked Malaysia’s Mak Yong inspired national costume in the Best 10 National Costume category in the previous edition, and it was presented by Jasebel Robert, Miss Grand Malaysia 2020, who went on to finish Top 10 in the final competition and win the Miss Popular Vote title.
Miss Grand International is swiftly becoming one of the most popular international beauty pageants, with a $40,000 cash award and a one-year residence in Bangkok, Thailand, as part of the organisation’s mission to end war and violence.
We wish our delegate the best of luck. Shine gloriously on stage, gal!