Tibetan beauties display their talent at Miss Tibet 2007 contest

November 14th, 2007 - 2:13 am ICT by admin  
Five contestants from across India are taking part in the beauty contest in the picturesque hill-town, which is headquarter of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama’s government-in-exile.

Each contestant presented a dance performance varying from a traditional Tibetan dance to ones choreographed to western hip-hop music and Indian Bollywood numbers yesterday.

The damsels also spoke on different topics concerning Tibet and its culture, and issues such as the use of animal skins in traditional Tibetan dresses, spreading of awareness on the ‘Free Tibet’ campaign, the Beijing Olympics and the importance of Buddhism in a presentation round.

Deeki Dolma, a contestant from Sikkim said the pageant provides an important platform for the Tibetan women.

“I think it’s very important for the young people to come forward and participate in these kind of platforms. This gives confidence to oneself,” she said.

The contest is being carried out amidst mixed response from the religious quarters. It will conclude with the crowning ceremony today.

Supporters of the beauty contest say that the event can prove to be an international platform to address the problems that Tibet is facing. While the religious heads of Tibet accept this, but they maintain that these contests are against the Buddhist principles.

Tsering Chungtak, Miss Tibet 2006, said that the contest has witnessed a growing acceptance by the Tibetan community.

“Now, like people they (Tibetan community also have) started accepting. You can see lots of people are coming here to watch the show and cheer up the contestants. This itself proves that people appreciate and they like the pageant.” she said.

The Miss Tibet beauty pageant, in its sixth year, is a budget contest in the small town of McLeodganj that attracts only a handful of contestants but plenty of controversy.

Lobsang Wangyal Productions started the pageant in 2002 when a majority of the four short-listed girls backed out facing flak from community leaders.

Despite all odds, the pageant has survived through the years, at times witnessing only a single participant.

In 2005, the reigning Miss Tibet was forced to withdraw from medium-level beauty pageants in Zimbabwe and Malaysia after objections from Chinese authorities, organizers say.

It has also irked conservative Tibetan Buddhists — the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile here once famously called it ‘un-Tibetan’ and ‘aping Western culture’. (ANI)

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