05 June 2009

Miss Tibet 2009 kicks off with swimsuit round

Dharamsala, June 5 - First phase of a three-day Miss Tibet beauty pageant competition kickstarted with a swimsuit round at a resort here this afternoon.

The competition started with four contestants Dolkar, 24, from Dehra Dun; Ngawang Choying, 18, from Darjeeling; Tenzin Choezom, 20, from Dharamsala and Yeshi Lhamo, 24, from Bir, performing a ramp show in skimpy swimwear around a mini swimming pool of Asian Health Resort here.

The participants contested for 10 points judged by five jury members for their figure, skin, posture and poise.

A handful of public enthusiasts willing to spare 200 rupees for a not more than 30-minute show turned up to watch, what has been described by many in the exile Tibetan community as, the “most daring” part of the beauty pageant.

A strong media presence, including documentary filmmakers, however, dominated the scene of today’s competition round.

Scores from six more competition rounds in the next two days will add up to decide the final crowning of this year’s Tibetan beauty on the grand finale night on Sunday at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA).

The Presentation and talent rounds will be held Saturday at TIPA.

Lobsang's Miss Tibet pageant is small but has been fairly controversial too. Since it was first started by Lobsang Wangyal Productions in 2002, the exile Tibetan community has reacted with quiet mixed feelings and attitude.

Not surprisingly, the contest has also irritated the Chinese, whose troops began occupying Tibet in 1949. In the past winners of Miss Tibet were forced to withdraw from international beauty pageants after objections from the Chinese government. This has given Miss Tibet its much needed media attention and with it its share of success on the international stage.

At times, however, the pageant struggled itself to survive witnessing only a single participant.

Nevertheless, Lobsang has remained adamant with a pledge to take his one-man show to greater heights all along the way.

“My Miss Tibet show is already eight years old now,” Lobsang delights over the successive continuation of his pageant.

And this year, he has added one more flavour to his show- Dinner with Miss Tibet.

“It is going to be more interesting this time,” Lobsang says of his newly conceived idea, which he says will help him to cash in little more funds for his production unit.

“There is lottery tickets on sale and one winner will be drawn from the lots for an exclusive dinner with winner of this year’s Miss Tibet title. The lottery ticket is priced at Rupees fifty. And the winner can bring along one companion,” Lobsang explains.

“And it is going to be a grand dinner with Miss Tibet 2009 at Mcllo Restaurant & Bar,” Lobsang confirms.