Miss Hakka Tourism

This is the only “purely Chinese” beauty pageant that I’ve ever seen in Sabah. Hakka is the biggest Chinese sub-group in Sabah, and they have dialect of their own. I say “They” because strictly speaking, I am not a Hakka guy, though I can speak Hakka well. But not all Hakka speaks Hakka, in Sandakan, many Hakka speaks Cantonis, for unknown reason. In overseas, I am happy to hear someone speaks Mandarin (official language of Chinese), but I feel even happier if I hear someone speaks Hakka, like I see someone from hometown.


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Hakka means “guest family”. Hakka originated from northern China. Because of war and social unrest, they had major migration a few times (like a “guest” without home) and settled in southern China. After experiencing so many hardship, Hakka people developed a conservative, peaceful, and hardworking traits in their culture and value, something enable them to survive the worst.

My late grandfather migrated to Sabah in early 1900s. When he arrived Sabah, he was shocked to see that Sabah was so “shang ba” (village). Anyway, like many other Chinese, he established our root here and developed the land. Most Hakka worked as farmers and traders. It is not too much to say, without Hakka, Sabah would look totally different today.

Back to the Miss Hakka Tourism beauty pageant on Jul 29, there were 15 contestants from different districts of Sabah, to compete in 4 rounds. The winners will join the national-level Miss Hakka competition in KL on Sep 7, and the Miss Hakka Malaysia will participate in Miss Hakka Tourism International 2008 competition. In first round, the beauties dressed in traditional Hakka dress (but my mom says she never wear such cloth before), very kawaii. Second round they dressed in evening gown. Third round is my favourite, they dressed in Cheongsam (Chi-Pao). They all looked so elegant (and sexy).


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To look really good in Cheongsam, you should meet two requirements: (1) You have to be slim and have nice figure. If you have too much extra fat like a middle-age aunty, basically you will look like something out of shape in Cheongsam. (2) You have an oriental face. I don’t know why Cheongsam looks better on Asians, but I can’t deny the feeling that if a orang putih (westerner) wears Cheongsam, it is like painting some stripes on a horse and call it a zebra. Somehow others feel that something is not right but can’t tell what’s wrong.

People (especially guys) will be interested in finding out what is in your brain, only if they are attracted by your look. After the 3rd round, top 8 contestants were selected to enter the final round, knowledge test, which is always the scariest part of beauty pageant. They were tested by questions on Hakka culture or tourism. For example, “What does Hakka mean?”, “How do you introduce Sabah to the world?” Their Hakka sounds more like a mix of Hakka, Mandarin and Cantonis. Not a surprise, me and most others can’t speak pure Hakka too.


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The Result:
Miss Hakka Tourism 2007 + Miss Photogenic: Corvina (Keningau)
1st Runner-Up + Miss Goodwill: Sandy (Kota Belud)
2nd Runner-Up + Miss Hakka Culture: Melody (Keningau)
Miss Body Beautiful: Audrey (Tuaran)
Miss Friendship: Loh Pei Yi (Tuaran)
(I try to translate the Chinese names. Any mistake is purposely made.)

My new Canon EOS 400D allowed me to take better photos this time. Compared to my earlier photos, they have less noise and the exposure of the background is excellent (look brighter and more colourful). Hope you like them.

News Clips
Overseas Chinese Daily News (Jun 4, 2007): Hakka Association organises Miss Hakka Tourism Beauty Pageant
Overseas Chinese Daily News (Jul 4, 2007): Keningau girl is encouraged to take part in Miss Hakka Tourism Beauty Pageant
Overseas Chinese Daily News (Jul 21, 2007): 15 Beauties will compete in Miss Hakka Tourism Beauty Pageant
Overseas Chinese Daily News (Jul 31, 2007): Keningau Beauty Corvina Chong was crowned Miss Hakka Tourism Beauty Pageant 2007
Overseas Chinese Daily News (Sep 9, 2007): Sabah Beauties Won Top 3 in 1st Miss Hakka Malaysia Beauty Pageant
Overseas Chinese Daily News (Sep 15, 2007): Sabah Hakka Beauties Won Top 3

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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