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Three Women Tell Us How They Incorporate The Hijab Into Their Cosplay

"Anything is possible with passion and imagination."

Posted on June 22, 2017, at 5:07 a.m. ET

Around the world, cosplayers keep going viral for their clever and creative incorporation of the hijab into their character's costumes.

Who said Hijabi's can't be Harley Quinn ???

BuzzFeed News recently interviewed three hijabi cosplayers across Southeast Asia, where the hijabi cosplay community is growing quickly.

日本のレイヤーが造型レベルを上げるように、ムスリムのレイヤーもヒジャブを活用したヘアスタイリングが進化中っ かわいいー(● ˃̶͈̀ロ˂̶͈́)੭ꠥ⁾⁾

BuzzFeed News interviewed three Muslim girls living across South East Asia who take part in hijabi cosplay, to find out how and why they incorporate the religious dress into their costumes.

Sindi Yanti

She's a seamstress who started cosplaying in 2011. She told BuzzFeed News that it all began when she felt conflicted between cosplay and her religion.

"I love cosplay and I want to enjoy it in a way that doesn't oppose the teachings of Islam,” Yanti said. “That's when I thought of hijabi cosplay.”

Yanti told BuzzFeed news that she has been interested in anime and manga since she was a child and has worn the hijab since elementary school.

@sindihamano / Via

"It began with an inner conflict because my religious teachings say I can not show hair or wear a wig. But I want to do cosplay,” she said. “And for it i must wear a wig or take off my hijab. I can’t do that. So i think why not using it as my cosplay character hair?"

Yanti used Google and social media for inspiration for her costumes, teaching herself how to tailor and design clothing and made YouTube tutorials to teach others.

View this video on YouTube

"I made videos to introduce people in other countries to hijabi cosplay," she said. "I want everyone to feel they can be involved. If you are limited by condition or some reason, you must know your creativity is not limited. Just do your best and have fun."

In the future, Yanti wants to compete in more international cosplay competitions and the World Cosplay Summit.

Kuromi, a 20-year-old university student in Singapore, started cosplay after discovering Yanti on YouTube three years ago.


"Until I discovered Sindi Yanti, I never even thought of cosplaying. I was amazed and inspired, and decided to give it a try myself," she told BuzzFeed.


Kuromi said that hijabi cosplayers can be just as creative as other participants. Detailed attention to color and texture of the hijab can really bring together a costume.

Miisa, a 21-year-old office worker from Malaysia, said she's learned from hijabi cosplaying that imagination is essential.


"I think all hijab cosplayers work their imagination to design their costumes. Anything is possible with passion and imagination," she said.

"Sometimes people who don't know hijabi cosplay think we're weird and look down on us, but we're slowly becoming accepted," Miisa said.

A Mall in Kuala Lumpa recently held event, and Miisa estimates over a 1000 people in Malaysia and Indonesia now participate.

"I'm very happy and proud of what hijabi cosplayers have achieved so far," she said.

Miisa said that cosplaying friends support and encourage each other regardless of their religious or cultural differences.


"Cosplay is all about fun, passion, and love. Cosplayers are sisters with the same interest," Miisa said. "We're one big family."

This post was translated from Japanese.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.