Monday, September 9, 2013
Miss World 2013 Contest Opens In Indonesia, 131 Beauties Are Paticipating
Miss World began in Indonesia Sunday amid tight security after the days of protests that forced the authorities to order the whole beauty pageant be held on the Island of Bali. The opening ceremony which was televised to 186 countries, featured Bali's Kecak dance and a parade of all 131 contestants. The government announced on Satureday that it was moving the September 28 final to Bali. It was intially set to be held in Sentul, on the outskirts of capital Djakarta. As the contestants took part in the glittering opening ceremony on the resort island, around 100 police officials, including some armed with rifles patrolled around the building where contest was being held. The ceremony saw contestants performing a trasditional dance using fans, as well as a Balinese "Kacak " dance, in which participants sit in circle and chant wjhile throwing their hands in the air. Nana Putra an official from MNC media group, the local organiser which is also broadcasting Miss World, said organisers hoped the event would "lift Indinesia's image to the world'. But the 63rd edition of the pageant has been overshadowed by the snowballing protest movement, and hunderd of police wre deployed across Bali as the event got underway. "So far there is no indication of security threat", Bali police spokesman Hariadi said. "However, we are still increassing our alertness and security- all entrances to Bali are guarded by our personnels" Thousands of the hardliners took to the streets across the country during the last week, denouncing the show and burning the effigies of the organisers. But the anger has not been limited to the radicals, with criticism also coming from the country's most prominent Muslim body, rihts groups and a government minister. Organisers pledged months ago there will be no bikini round during this year's pageant in a bid to avoid causing offence. However, this was not enough to stop street protests and on Satureday, government bowed to mounting prssure by decising to move the final, on September 28, and several other events to Bali. While organisers always planned to hold the opening of the show on Bali, the final and other events had originally been scheduled to take place in and around capital Djakarta. However, radicals threatened to stage huge rallies in the area, where there is considerable hardline influence, to stop the event going ahead. Although, Bali has been hit by the deadly bomb blast in the past, hardline influence is non-existent on the island nowadays and locals are used to seeing hordes of tourists sunbating in their swimsuits. Announcing the change of venue, coordinating minister for people's welfare, Agung Laksono, said, "the government had listened to what the people wanted". Organisers said they were disappointed by the decision.