KOTA KINABALU: Francisca Ester Nain who said she is proud to converse in Dusun at home and represented Karambunai was crowned 2019 State Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan at the Hongkod Koisaan Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) Hall, Friday. She was one of the few who spoke fully in Dusun while the others mostly spoke in Bahasa Melayu.She defeated 63 other hopefuls to bring home prizes worth RM100,000 including RM18,000, a crown, educational scholarship and return flight tickets to Japan and South Korea.
“I am originally from Kota Belud and the first time I joined Unduk Ngadau was in 2017,” said the 25-year-old.She impressed the crowd with her fluent Dusun during the question and answer session.“Yes, I converse in Dusun at home...and I hope to use the title to enhance the awareness among the public, especially the young generation on the importance of using their own mother tongue.”In second place was Annette Rabecca Januin @ Abdon who represented Pantai Manis, while Leticia Casianus Bansin (Penampang) grabbed third spot.Annette and Leticia received RM13,000 and RM10,000, respectively.
Several changes were made on the judging system this year to improve its standards as well as the flow of the pageant.Among the improvements was the pre-judging session on the contestants’ local ethnic research books.Upon winning, each representative of state constituency, district or KDCA branch is required to conduct a study on their respective traditional costumes as well as other related cultural elements.The research was then made into a book which was presented by the contestants in front of a pre-judging panel.State Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan co-chairperson Jo-Anna Sue Henley Rampas was quoted as saying that three core aspects had been outlined for the pageant this year.These were culture preservation, knowledge enhancement and women empowerment.The reigning State Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan would also work together with the State Rural Development Ministry on community, tourism and educational projects for a year. -- Ricardo Unto (Daily Express, 1 June 2019)