21 October 2008

An Issue Over Miss Taiwan's Sash in Miss International 2008

The heat is on in Miss International 2008 pageant and controversies or issues is starting to pick up. This is the usual scene every year. I guess this is inevitable. 

Currently, the candidates for Miss International 2008 are in Japan for some series of events before they fly to Macau where the grand coronation is to take place. So, in my effort to update you the latest development in this fourth largest pageant on earth, I am bringing you an issue over the sash of Miss Taiwan.

Geez, politics has to play once more in a beauty pageant. This is irritating for pageant fans like me. Agree?

Well, the twist of the story is the "belittling" or "insult" of the pageant organizer to the representative of Taiwan.

TAIPEI, Taiwan –– The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday that it is investigating whether Taiwan’s representative in the Miss International beauty pageant was belittled by the competition’s Japanese organizer. 

“The Foreign Ministry’s representative office in Japan is trying to figure out what happened,” MOFA spokesman Henry Chen said. “If there is any unreasonable arrangement or downgrading of Taiwan, the representative office will protest to the organizer and ask for a correction.” 

According to local daily Liberty Times, Taiwan’s representative in the 2008 Miss International Ting Yen-yu was given two sashes, reading “Taiwan” and “Chinese Taipei” by the Japanese organizer and was told “to wear either of them depending on where you are.” 

The Taiwanese contestant apparently interpreted the move to mean that she could wear the “Taiwan”s ash while performing competition-related duties in Japan but would have to wear the “Chinese Taipei” sash during the actual competition being held in Macau. 

The candidates from 68 countries are in Tokyo to conduct a series of charity events before competing in the final of Miss International Beauty Pageant 2008 slated to be held in Macau on Nov. 8. 

Ting’s instructor Chang Ming-chu criticized the organizer for disrespecting the candidate. 

“The judges will be confused by different sashes as they do not know which country she (Ting) represents,” Chang was quoted as saying by the news report. 

“Also, questioning our candidate this and that is not only discrimination but also a blow to her confidence,” she added. 

Ting was cited as saying that she will wear the “Taiwan” sash in Macau and see what happens. 

The MOFA’s Chen said Taiwan’s representatives usually use the designation “Chinese Taipei, “ “Taiwan” or “Republic of China, “ depending on which name Taiwan uses to join the related international organizing body for the event. 

Since the Japanese organizer gave Ting the “Taiwan” sash, it means that the organizer agrees to the candidate using “Taiwan,” Chen said, adding that the MOFA will fight for the rights of Taiwan’s representative in the competition. 

The contest organizers do not seem to have a standard used for the country’s name. 

On their Web site, the 2006 Taiwan representative Liu Tzu-hsuan was listed under the name “Taiwan,” while the 2007 Taiwan representative, Hung Tzu-wei, was listed under the name “Chinese Taipei.” 

Created in Long Beach, California in 1960, Miss International is the largest beauty pageant in the world next to Miss Universe and Miss World. Since 1972, it has been held in Japan and from that time, Miss International has attained the status of a quasi-national event garnering a reputation as the “Olympics of Beauty.”