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'Unduk Ngadau' now registered with MyIPO, preventing it from being misused by other parties

Chairperson of the Unduk Ngadau pageant contest, Joanna Kitingan.

30 March 2020

By Wartawan Nabalu News

KOTA KINABALU: The term ‘Unduk Ngadau’ has been registered with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) to protect the cultural pageant from being misused, as it has in the past.

Chairperson of the Unduk Ngadau pageant contest, Joanna Kitingan said that although they have already registered the term with MyIPO, they are still seeing it being misused by other private pageant organisers.

“As the chairperson of the Unduk Ngadau for many years and having researched the last 62 years of the Unduk Ngadau, I was shocked to see another beauty organisation using the word “Real Beauty Unduk Ngadau 2022”, said Joanna.

“As someone who advocates the real beauty of the Unduk Ngadau as recited by the Bobohizan that the beauty of Huminodun who willingly sacrificed herself so that her people may live.

“She is an epitome of the empowered woman who willingly sacrificed herself,” she said. She also explained that the Unduk Ngadau cultural pageant has been held for the last 62 years and that it has kept relevant till now.

“A lot of other beauty pageants have emulated the Unduk Ngadau’s way of organising at the district level. Even the male version of the Unduk Ngadau such as the Mr. Kaamatan has made their pageants more meaningful by making it compulsory for contestants to speak their mother tongue and wearing a traditional costume from each district and describing what they are wearing,” she said.

Joanna added that the reason they have registered the Unduk Ngadau with MyIPO was to protect the cultural pageant from being misused as in the past.

“But we still see it being misused by other private pageant organisers.

“We don’t want the word Unduk Ngadau to project otherwise and spoil our culture and our women,” said Joanna.

“In the past, the Unduk Ngadau pageant has simply been held in an inappropriate place that’s why we registered it. Other cultural bodies who organise Unduk Ngadau must have the proper understanding and respect for our culture,” she said.

She also said that having seen and judged so many so-called beauty, culture and tourism pageants, they are a far cry from lifting the image of young girls and advocating Women’s rights.

“What we want is to protect women’s image from being sexually exploited on the overexposing of themselves with the dresses they are asked to wear during the competition,” she said.

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