Hijabs no hindrance when you’re a cosplaying superhero in Malaysia

Muslim women from Malaysia and Indonesia dress up as swashbuckling warriors, superheroes and princesses, all while wearing their hijabs, at cosplay convention in Kuala Lumpur

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 May, 2017, 1:09pm
UPDATED : Monday, 01 May, 2017, 2:20pm

Muslim women dressed as superheroes, princesses, and mighty sword-wielding warriors took part in a hijab cosplay event in Malaysia over the weekend, where the role-playing craze continues to grow.

Around 20 women showcased their love for anime with elaborate make-up and costumes while still wearing their traditional hijab – the headscarf worn by many Muslim women in Malaysia – at the event at a mall on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Many participants took photos with each other, mingled and networked, sharing costume and make-up tips.

Nur Azlina, a 21-year-old university student, decked out in a Power Ranger outfit, said a hijab did not hinder her cosplay skills and that there had been a lot of positive reaction.

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“Some people are sometimes surprised when they see my hijab ... but it doesn’t bother me. My friends and my family support me and I also get invited to birthday parties to attend with my costume,” she said. “I love cosplay and I get to make new friends here and also in the international cosplay community.”

Raja Muhammad Rusydi, a 20-year-old male cosplay enthusiast who also took part, said he hoped such events would prompt more hijab-wearing women to take part in cosplay.

“I support them. If they love the character and have the passion, they should do it, ” he said.

In cosplay, short for costume role-play, enthusiasts gather to imitate characters from anime series, comics and video games, many drawn from Japanese pop culture.

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The cosplay fad has swept much of the world and has been popular for over two decades in Malaysia.

But hijab cosplay has only become popular in the last few years in the Southeast Asian nation and has generated much buzz among those in the cosplay scene.