BY: Michelle Liew
Malaysia is not just a beautiful nation but also home to the beautiful pageant queens.
Current Miss Universe Malaysia, Francisca Luhong James, stunned the audience with her ‘Kampungku’ costume in the National Costume Category for the 69th Miss Universe Pageant in Hollywood, Florida. She is competing against 74 other beauty queens for the prestigious title.
Known for our impressive national costume designs, Malaysia once again presents itself a strong competitor with Francisca’s costume.
The dress, called ‘Kampungku’ or ‘My Village’ was inspired by traditional Malay houses that provide the landscape in villages and rural areas across Peninsular Malaysia. The dress weighs a whopping 45kg and features a 3D house complete with replica chickens, coconut trees, and a headpiece in the shape of a bicycle.
LOOK: Miss Universe Malaysia Francisca James wowed fans with her national costume inspired by traditional Malay village homes during the Miss Universe pageant in Hollywood, Florida. | ?Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images/AFP pic.twitter.com/APbcTRg6tV
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) May 14, 2021
The costume and headpieces took a total of three months to complete.
The 25 year old Sarawakian, was crowned Miss Universe Malaysia in September last year, succeeding Shweta Sekhon, who garnered global attention with her costume, ‘A Peranakan Indulgence’ during the 2019 pageant.
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Francisco, a Dayak native with roots in the Kayan-Kenyah-Iban lineage, took to Instagram to describe her feelings as the first native Malaysian to represent the country.
“Being the first native to represent my country, I hope to inspire more individuals out there that whatever you pursue in life, whenever people doubt you, know this, you are the one who make decisions for yourself, you’re strong and ambitious, you will succeed and will reach your milestone with all the trials and success of journey you are about to face.
“Growing up, I was taught to appreciate my heritage. Coming from a longhouse village consists of 101 doors, coming from a mixed native parentage, and being the first in my family to take a huge step in the pageant world. I get to work and appreciate more people who I work with and their essence of being special in their own authentic ways. I learned self value, self love before loving others, humility and humanity are essential.
“Today and for the past couple of days being here in Florida, the only thing come cross my mind is my beloved country Malaysia and the people who believe in me and inspire by my story. I want people to believe in destiny, I want you to know we all have our own purpose in life,” she said adding that she was proud of standing on the Universe stage as a native representative.
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