By Kalsang Rinchen
(from left) Dolkar, Ngawang Choying, Tenzin Choezom and Yeshi Lhamo
Dharamsala, May 29 – Four Tibetan girls will compete this year for Miss Tibet crown next month. Dolkar, 24, from Dehra Dun; Ngawang Choying, 18, from Darjeeling; Tenzin Choezom, 20, from Dharamshala; and, Yeshi Lhamo, 24, from Bir, will go through a series of contest planned out by the organizers for them. The event has been renamed this year as ‘Spice India Splendour Miss Tibet Pageant 2009’ due to its sponsor, Spice India Splendour owned by industrialist Bhupendra Kumar Modi.
When the first ever Miss Tibet pageant was held here in 2002 it instantly became a hit with media from all over converging on this north Indian hill town to get the ‘interesting’ story.
Over the years, the number of participants has not gone up as expected by the organizers. It was one girl show in 2003 and 2005 when the crown winner had no contenders. Only 28 girls have competed for the crown since it was first started eight years ago with the private initiative of Lobsang Wangyal, a Tibetan man who faced criticism from some sections including the prime minister Samdhong Rinpoche for the pageant that they said was ‘un-Tibetan’ and ‘against Buddhist principles’.
The comments made by the exile Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche in 2002 added the much needed conflict to this story making the pageant even bigger attraction for the media. But the attraction has however dwindled over the years.
Talking to media today, the pageant director said he received seven applications but three withdrew. This year’s pageant will be marked as an expression of gratitude to the government and people of India for their 50 years’ hospitality, Lobsang said.
“It is also an opportunity to celebrate 50 years of Tibet on the world stage. The spirit of celebration is high, but we pay homage and salute those brave Tibetans who have laid down their lives for their belief in freedom, justice and love for Tibet,” said the one-man entertainment company.
The four girls will be trained for a week in yoga, dance, and personality development. They will also be provided orientation on Tibetan history, language, philosophy, current affairs, human rights and environment situation in Tibet. They will also tour the premises of the exile Tibetan government, local Tibetan schools and monasteries in the next one week.
The three day contest starting June 5 includes swimsuit round, Talk and Talent round, traditional costume round, evening gown, introduction round and interview. The crowning of ‘Spice India Splendour Miss Tibet Pageant 2009’ will take place on the evening of June 7. Prize money of hundred thousand rupees for the winner, fifty thousand for the first runner-up and 25,000 rupees for the second runner-up are up for grabs. Watch video here.