Cosplay in hijab? No problem

Muslim cosplay enthusiasts Azlyna Zaina (left) and Raja Muhammad Rusydi went to the hijab cosplay event in Kuala Lumpur dressed as characters from Power Rangers.
Muslim cosplay enthusiasts Azlyna Zaina (left) and Raja Muhammad Rusydi went to the hijab cosplay event in Kuala Lumpur dressed as characters from Power Rangers. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Ange, a young Indonesian Muslim cosplayer, is dressed as the Kamen rider Gaim.
Ange, a young Indonesian Muslim cosplayer, is dressed as the Kamen rider Gaim.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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

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

Ms Nur Azlina, a 21-year-old university student, was decked out in a Power Rangers outfit.

She said a hijab does not hinder her cosplay skills and that there were a lot of positive reactions.

"Some people are sometimes surprised when they see my hijab... but it doesn't bother me. My friends and family support me and I also get invited to attend birthday parties with my costume," she added.

Mr Raja Muhammad Rusydi, a 20-year-old cosplay enthusiast, hopes such events will generate more interest among hijab-wearing women to take part in cosplay activities.

"I love cosplay and I get to make new friends here and in the international cosplay community. I support the women. If they love the character and have the passion, they should do it."

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.

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

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

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2017, with the headline 'Cosplay in hijab? No problem'. Print Edition | Subscribe