Indonesians will soon have a new president and with it, an optimism that the largest country in the ASEAN region will also become the dominant one. Indonesia yearns to be the regional leader in terms of economy, sports (especially football) and now, even in beauty pageants. Indonesia has already hosted the Miss World pageant and it is looking at hosting the Miss Earth and perhaps Miss Universe as well.
But will Indonesia prevail in the long run and be the region’s supreme leader in the world of pageantry? Here’s a quick look how Indonesia matches up with its prominent neighbors.
Against Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia – Indonesia off course is way ahead of these countries but it must look out for Myanmar. The latter has a burgeoning pageantry scene and it is poised to become one of the pageantry hot spots. Meanwhile, Laos and Cambodia are both languishing in the sidelines.
Against Malaysia – Indonesia and Malaysia are linguistically and to some extent religiously similar. The only problem for Malaysia is that it bars Muslim women from participating at beauty pageants. Indonesia has a more secular approach and it is way more socially open. In the long run, Indonesia will simply overtake Malaysia at the Big4 ranking. Well in fact, since 2010, Malaysia has been sliding in the ranking while Indonesia is taking a very big leap. CLICK HERE
Against Singapore – Indonesia is way larger than the tiny Singapore and in the world of pageantry, the gap between the two is closing in – fast. This despite the fact that Singapore had a head start. The trend also shows that Singapore is in the backwater while Indonesia is clearly shining.
Against Vietnam – Vietnam showed a lot of promise 5 years ago but it is hampered by the strong control of the communist government. The pageantry scene is so tightly regulated, its growth was basically hampered and all the momentum built when Vietnam first participated at Big4 Pageants are now all gone. In 2010, Vietnam was ranked higher at the Big4 Ranking. In 2012, Vietnam was higher than Indonesia by a single rank. Now, Indonesia is ahead of Vietnam by 12 ranks.
Against Thailand – Thailand is the second most powerful nation in the ASEAN region when it comes to beauty pageants. It will be extremely difficult for Indonesia to overcome Thailand but it is possible. Thailand has a weak beauty pageant scene right now and based on the recent performance, it is even as if Indonesia is the second most powerful nation in the ASEAN region.
Against the Philippines – When you look at it, the Philippines is way up high in the skies while Indonesia is way below on a valley. Could Indonesia catch up with the Philippines? Well, they used to think that Indonesia will never catch up with the Philippines when it comes to standard of living. But in 2009, for the first time in the modern history of the two nations, Indonesians are now richer than the Filipinos. So how this would relate in the pageantry scene? By 2050, it is projected that Indonesia will become an economic behemoth and would simply overtake the rest of the ASEAN region. Alongside with this predicted prosperity is a a strong, mature and successful pageantry scene. If Indonesia will simply keep on becoming richer and richer, it would be a matter time before the nation will win all of the Big4 crowns.
At Miss Universe, Indonesia has become adept in training its delegates. This is evidenced by the semis finish of Whulandary last year in Moscow. Normally, when a nation penetrates the semis, it is a sign that it has all the tools needed for a follow-up. It is also a morale booster and makes the succeeding delegates more confident.
The Puteri Indonesia pageant is working very hard to maintain the momentum that Whulandary has set. With Puteri Indonesia 2014 Elvira Devinamira, there is a sunny optimism towards the prospect of Indonesia at Miss Universe. The world is recognizing the fact that Indonesia has become a stable democracy with a lots of potential towards economic prosperity. Investors now know huge wealth can be made by investing in Indonesia. Pageant organizers should know the same thing.