TORONTO – Five male contestants competed for the title of ‘Mr. Tibet Toronto’ organized by Students for a Free Tibet Canada on December 26. The five young Tibetan men from Toronto showcased their talents, physique, and public speaking skills, for the new title of Mr. Tibet Toronto, judged by Fashion Designer Tenzin Shamphel, North America’s Mr. Tibet 2011 Lobsang Sultim, and Tibetan Women’s Association of Ontario Executive Namgyal Dolker.
After two hours of competition that included dances, songs, and music, Tenzin Dhondup was announced the first Mr. Tibet Toronto.
“I focused and took this competition very seriously, and I feel it paid off.” said Tenzin Dhondup, who was born in Nepal, and currently studies music along his regular schooling in Toronto. He added, “Now that I have this title, I am ready to take my responsibility as a Tibetan and stand for the rights of all Tibetans. I want to work towards the dream of every Tibetan, to step in and represent our fatherland, with the blessing of his Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
This event was the first of its kind, according to Sonam Chokey, the National Director of Students for a Free Tibet Canada. She added, “At SFT, we believe that young Tibetan men need role models in exile. Asserting Tibetan national identity is an act of resistance and also an important political statement that needs to be made through events like Mr. TIbet.”
Students for a Free Tibet Canada aims to build off the success of this event and continue this as an annual event, with a hope of getting more contestants for the consequent years.