The newly crowned Miss Indonesia, Karenina Sunny Halim, has impressed the judges with her fluent English and her intelligence. To people’s surprise Karenina answered questions by the judges in English but needed a translator to understand the question that was being asked in Indonesian.
While the Miss Indonesia beauty pagant is meant to choose an Indonesian woman to represent Indonesia, the half Indo – half American winner can not even speak the language of the country she’s representing fluently. She said that her immediate task now is to learn Indonesian and was convinced that she will manage to learn it fast as it was an “easy language”. Apparently, after 23 years of growing up in Indonesia, she never bothered to actually learn to speak the language until now that she is representing the country which language she still has to learn.
Her brother defended her by saying that Karenina never had the chance to speak Indonesian as she was more of a homebody who never hung out with Indonesians to be exposed to the language. Makes me wonder how much of the culture of Indonesia does Karenina actually understand then? I find it stunning that the person crowned as Miss Indonesia knows little about the Indonesian culture and doesn’t even speak the language.
The article about Miss Indonesia’s comment to learn Indonesians have received strong comments about this “bad joke”. Willy in Jakarta wrote,
“This is the most absurd thing I have heard in my life. How can the judges allow such woman to win when clearly she cannot communicate in bahasa. Kerenina should have brushed up in her language skills before joing the pagent.”
Another comment by Imelda was,
“If being able to speak Indonesian and having knowledge of our culture are not the requirements, why didn’t the judges just pick a much prettier and smarter foreign woman, give her an Indonesian passport and make her Miss Indonesia?”
A comment by Stan pretty much sums up what is happening in this beauty pagent joke: the way Indonesians almost “worship” mixed blood – Indonesian exoticm and beauty with the white skin of the Whites,
“What a funny story, so miss Indonesia needed a translator to help her understand bahasa Indonesia, she says dont know much about Indonesian culture and still she was voted miss Indonesia what a stupid choice? people should understand the meaning of representation not just a game of preference. why because she is mixed or there is no other girls around.. what a joke? This clamor for white skin would not help Indonesia anywhere. Indonesia is not a white country and would never be so be proud of your heritage and God given natural skin! Afterall many white people prefer those brown Indonesian skin which is sexier and better than those pale white skin. But unfortunately some do not understand why.”
Today the world is laughing at what has happened. How ridiculous Indonesians can be to actually allow this to happen! The judges who can’t even consider the consequences of their choice in the international world reason that it would be humiliating to have a non-English speaking Indonesian represent Indonesia in Miss World. But Miss World has not even begun yet and we are already being humiliated in big news portals such as MSN and Reuters. This humiliation is even worse than to have a Miss Indonesia who can not speak English in the Miss World pageant!
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