They are competing in pageant for a Free Tibet
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Miss Tibet 2011 contestant (Photo: MissTibet.com)
DHARAMSHALA-- On Sunday, six contestants from India, Australia, Switzerland and US would vie for the Miss Tibet-2011 title at Dharamshala. During the contest they would give a stiff competition to each other, but their end goal is the same — of seeing their motherland — Tibet, a free country.
Unlike other beauty pageants where winners get huge cash awards besides modelling assignments, the winners of the Miss Tibet contest on Sunday would hardly get anything in comparison. Having gone through the anguish of forced migration and of living in exile, it was the sheer determination of raising the Tibet issue on the international platform which made these six girls enter the contest.
One of the contestants, Ngodup Dolma, a nurse working in Australia said she escaped from Tibet when she was 8. She passed through the Himalayas on foot. Recalling her escape Dolma said, "My sister and I accompanied by 25 other monks used to take shelter under rocks during the day and we walked only at night." She said time has come for Tibetan women to make their voice stronger and speak for Tibet's cause through such events. "There should be more participation and the event should be held on a bigger scale," she said.
Tenzin Yangki, 19, a student from Zurich, Switzerland, who is the youngest contestant in the pageant, has just completed her class X and is participating in the event to "Contribute actively in the freedom movement of Tibet." She said, "Winning the title of Miss Tibet would draw the attention of the international media and I could use the platform thus given to highlight the freedom issue by creating more awareness about the cause."
Another participant, Tenzin Khecheo from Minnesota, US, a college student said that elders from the exiled community are opposed to the idea of holding beauty pageants but they are still participating for the cause of their motherland.
"We want to convey the message to the community that beauty pageants are not going to ruin our traditional culture but such events are the need of the hour for highlighting the issue," she said.