Tibetan beauty pageant begins in Dharamsala

November 14th, 2007 - 2:09 am ICT by admin  
Five Tibetan beauties from across India are taking part in the three-day competition.

The contestants vying for the Miss Tibet 2007 sashayed confidently in front of a packed audience, showcasing the latest in the swim wear fashion.

The contestants said the round helped them gain confidence to look ahead.

“I think it is very important for one person to increase their confidence. So, we are able to stand in the crowd. In our performance, we should standout,” said Tenzing Dolma, a contestant.

The contest was carried out amidst mixed response from the religious quarters.

Supporters of the beauty contest say the event can prove to be an international platform to stage the problems that Tibet is facing.

While the religious heads of Tibet accept this, they maintain that these contests are against the Buddhist principles.

The organisers were however happy that the contest began to a rollicking start.

“We have finished with the first round of the sixth Miss Tibet pageant. I saw how much Tibetan women are coming forward as a confident, modern, young woman, ready to plunge into anything,” said Lobsang Wangyal, organiser.

The final day of the competition will take place at the Tibetan Cultural Centre in Macleodganj on October 14.

The Miss Tibet beauty pageant, in its sixth year, is held 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 after facing flak from community leaders.

The pageant has survived through the years, at times witnessing only a single participant.

Often the contest ruffles low-key controversies, if any, among the extremely conservative and secluded 134,000 strong Tibetans-in-exile community in India.

Not surprisingly, the contest has irritated the Chinese.

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

In an attempt to generate a little more publicity, the organizers threw the controversial ’swimwear round’ open for public viewing for the first time in 2006.

This year the contest will kick-start with the swimwear round on October 12 and will conclude with the crowning ceremony on Sunday. (ANI)

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