KOTA KINABALU, Mar 11, 2014: The Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA)’s Penampang District coordinating committee criticized the decision to do away with the ‘gong’ hairdo for this year’s Unduk Ngadau state-level competition.
Its deputy chairman, Jeoffrey Ekol, said the committee was strongly against the idea during the committee meeting on March 6, chaired by their chairman Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun, citing traditional practice concerns.
“We don’t agree with simple hairdos for Unduk Ngadau. It is a long tradition in the Kadazandusun community even before the first Unduk Ngadau competition.
“No simplicity for Unduk Ngadau hairdos. KDCA Penampang District coordinating committee is strongly against the decision by Unduk Ngadau organising committee to do away with the ‘gong’ hairdos for Unduk Ngadau this year,” said Ekol.
Other than having been a traditional practice since the times of ancestors, Ekol added that the traditional hairdo also held a significant meaning and symbol of the Kadazandusun community, the symbol of the gong.
“’Gong’ hairdo style is very unique and not found in any part of the world. If any changes on the ‘gong’ hairdos for the Unduk Ngadau participants were made, it should be brought to the attention and considerations of the KDCA central committee and not simply do away with our long-practiced tradition — the ‘gong’ hairdo for our Unduk Ngadau,” said Ekol.
Unduk Ngadau state-level competition organising chairperson Joanna Kitingan had said on February 28 that after decades of Unduk Ngadau competitions, some changes to the competition were needed which included among other things, the ‘gong’ hairdo, which had been synonymous with the traditional cultural beauty pageant but now deemed obsolete, to be replaced with simpler and modern hair-do.
Joanna said the traditional ‘gong’ hairdo no longer applied as it was a habit which started in the late 70’s and 80’s and had nothing to do with culture. It was simply the trending hairdo at that time which somehow became a repeated habit and no longer applied to current times.
“The actual criteria were simply to do the hair up for an elegant look. But over the years, some seem to have gotten carried away with the size of the ‘gong’ and the hair accessories,” she added.
source: The Borneo Post
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