Miss Tibet pageant begins in Dharamsala

June 5th, 2009 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, June 5 (IANS) The Spice India Splendour Miss Tibet Pageant 2009, which has four beauties vying for the crown, got underway in this Himachal Pradesh hill town Friday. This year the event carries a special message - thanking India for supporting Tibetan exiles for the past 50 years.
“The three-day pageant in which four Tibetan girls are participating began this (Friday) morning. The models who are participating are born in exile in India,” event organiser Lobsang Wangyal told reporters.

“On the first day, we organised a swimsuit round. Talk and talent rounds would be organised Saturday. On the final day, four rounds - introduction, evening gown, traditional costume and interview - would be held,” he said.

Last year, only two models participated in the Miss Tibet contest that started in 2002 amidst mixed responses from the exiles. Many opposed the pageant, saying it was “un-Tibetan”.

“Initially seven models applied for participation, but later three withdrew,” he said.

This year’s pageant is organised with a special message: “Thank you India for 50 years of help and hospitality for Tibetan people”.

The contestants are: Dolkar, 24, from Dehradun, 18-year-old Ngawang Choying from Darjeeling, 20-year-old Tenzin Choezom and 24-year-old Yeshi Lhamo, both from Himachal Pradesh.

Said Ngawang, the youngest contestant: “Whether I win or lose, I will still be recognised by people wherever I go. And I will always try to spread the message of the Miss Tibet Pageant, which is about spreading the beauty of Tibet and Tibetan women.”

Miss Tibet 2009 will be awarded Rs.100,000, while the first runner-up will be presented Rs.50,000 and the second runner-up Rs.25,000.

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama fled Tibet along with many of his supporters in 1959 and took refuge in this Indian hill station. The Dalai Lama has ever since been heading the government-in-exile from here, which is not recognised by any country.

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