The Miss Tibet contest has shifted to New York from Mcleodganj this year. The contest shifted because it involves a controversial bikini round. Elderly Tibetans and the conservative members of the community are upset about this particular round. Even Tibetan feminists objected to the event.
Last year, the contest was held at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. Twenty one-year-old Kollegal of Karnataka was crowned Miss Tibet.
“We are looking forward to a spectacular show as we move from the small Himalayan village in Mcleodganj to New York,” said show organiser Lobsang Wangyal.
How the contest began
The contest began in 2002 with the aim of empowering Tibetan women in exile. It started with one participant said the founder of the pageant, Lobsang Wangyal
“We can mark our presence and raise our voice through the platform of beauty by crowning Miss Tibet. I was struggling alone, but now I have entered into a tie-up with an entertainment firm with the help of a few Tibetan friends,” he said.
Online applications for the Miss Tibet contest are currently being accepted. The last date to apply is March 31.
Resistance from Tibetan community
The participants have been few and far between. Las year the contest had only nine participants. Wangyal has been struggling to get sponsors. People are not very supportive of the contest and say that Buddhism is about inner beauty.
Last year more than 3,000 people attended the Miss Tibet contest. Wangyal said that many Tibetan women do want to participate but worry about what society will say.
“Yes, this is a democratic society but the young generation should remember that we don’t have a country, we don’t have a home, we are refugees. All we have is our tradition and religion. They should focus on conserving and nurturing that,” said 67-year-old Dharamsala-based Tibetan shopkeeper Thinley Kalsyang.
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Picture Credit: News 18