- Title: Hijab cosplay takes off in South East Asia as Muslim women embrace fan culture
- Date: 21st July 2017
- Summary: YANTI'S HAND ZOOMING HER PHONE TO LOOK AT THE CHARACTER, CINDERELLA
- Embargoed: 4th August 2017 02:08
- Keywords: Indonesia Malaysia Southeast Asia hijab Muslim Islam cosplay culture
- Location: JAKARTA, INDONESIA / KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
- City: JAKARTA, INDONESIA / KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
- Country: Various
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Fashion,Human Interest / Brights / Odd News
- Reuters ID: LVA0026QNTLCP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: At her home in Jakarta, 24-year-old Sindi Yanti sits facing a mirror carefully arranging her pale yellow "hair" into place before putting on a puffy blue Cinderella dress.
The Indonesian girl, who started cosplay in 2014, is one of a growing number of young Muslim women in Southeast Asia taking part in 'hijab cosplay', finding creative ways to incorporate the traditional religious headscarf into colourful fantasy costumes.
"Wearing a hijab should not be a barrier for anything, we are free to be creative, wearing a hijab doesn't mean it will become an obstacle for us to be creative. (This ideology) Not just hijab cosplay, it also applies to those who love to sing, dance and other hobbies, I don't see any issue," she said.
A full-time costume-maker, Yanti's designs keep Islamic requirements of modesty for women in mind, with the hijab twisted and folded into wigs, hoods, or fancy headgear. Her made-to-order costumes cost between 250,000 rupiah ($18.79) to 500,000 ($37.58) rupiah each.
In neighouring Muslim majority country Malaysia, 20-year-old film student Nursyamimi Minhalia joined 15 Muslim girls and women at a cosplay event in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month, dressed in elaborate costumes inspired by superheroes, warriors and princesses from Japanese comics and animation.
In a black and gold military get-up, Nursyamimi said she did not include the hijab in her outfits when she started cosplaying in 2012 as it is very challenging. But she was inspired to do so after seeing others do the same.
While costumed role-play has been part of anime and comics fan culture for decades, hijab cosplay is a relatively new phenomenon that is quickly growing in acceptance in the wider Muslim community.
Sharifah Maznah Syed Mohd, a 48-year-old Malaysian Muslim woman whose son is an avid cosplayer, said the role-playing hobby was acceptable as long as cosplayers stayed within religious boundaries.
For Yanti, hijab cosplay helps her reconcile her faith with her love for cosplay culture in general, which at times involves revealing outfits and elaborate hair styles.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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