By Tenzin Monlam
Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, October 6: Nine contestants from various Himalayan regions will be taking part in this year’s Miss Himalaya Pageant organized by Lobsang Wangyal Productions at Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) on Sunday.
The fifth edition of the pageant will be the biggest in terms of number contestants since the first edition in 2012. Lobsang Wangyal, Director of the pageant, said, “First of all it is my own effort of empowering women by providing them a platform and also to promote friendship amongst the people of the Himalayan belt.”
The competition round will start from tomorrow with the ‘Talk and Talent Rounds’ and Finale will have three rounds including Traditional Costume round and interview on Sunday.
Unlike Miss Tibet, he has so far not included the swimsuit round in the pageant’s history. “There are two main reasons behind the exclusion of the bikini round. Firstly, the Tibetan society is bit more progressive and secondly, winners of Miss Tibet get to compete in International pageant where you cannot skip the swimsuit round,” Lobsang Wangyal said.
With one Tibetan girl, Tashi Lhamo, 24, from Kathmandu, the pageant will feature eight other girls - Aaisha Gurung (25) from Chamba; Akansha Mahat (19) from Dharamshala; Kalzang Butith (22) from Kaza; Mannat Thakur (18) from Nahan; Monika Negi (20) from Rampur Bushahr; Palak Thakur (17) from Palampur; Preksha Rana (21) from Gaggal; and Simran Mehta (20) from Dharamshala.
“Most of Tibetan girls participate in Miss Tibet, however, I find this pageant equally important since Tibet plays an important role in the region. Moreover, we can learn a lot from girls from other regions,” said the lone Tibetan contestant, who expressed that she would do her best to win the crown.
She aims at participating in the next Miss Tibet as well.
Kalzang Butith from Kaza, Spiti, said that her main goal is ‘not to win’ but to ‘motivate’ those thousands of girls in Spiti who don’t stand for their rights and to unbind them from the society’s pressure. “Winning is not important for me and moreover everyone cannot win. I am here to learn new things, which is more important for me,” Kalzang said, adding that she hopes more girls from her region would participate in the future.
Last year’s winner Tanshuman Gurung will crown the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2017 winner and present her prize money of INR one lakh and the First Runner-up will get INR 50,000 and the Second Runner-up INR 25,000 respectively.