Miss Tibet

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Miss Tibet is an annual beauty pageant held in Dharamshala, India.[1] It is produced by Lobsang Wangyal Productions.

History[edit]

The first-ever Miss Tibet Pageant was held in October 2002. The pageant was criticized as "aping western culture" and "un-Tibetan". The pageant has continued yearly since then.

In 2002, only four Tibetan girls participated in the competition. In two editions — 2003 and 2005 — the pageant had only one participant. In 2006, the swimsuit competition was opened to the public.

The Miss Tibet Pageant 2012 was cancelled in response to increased tensions in Tibet and in support of the protests there.[2][3]

Miss Tibet 2002, Dolma Tsering, has competed in two international pageants. She also won the Miss Goodwill subsidiary title from the pageant in Malaysia and the Best National Costume from another pageant in Mexico.

The Dalai Lama considers the pageant unimportant, but it is still held due to popular demand.[4]

Of late, the Chinese government has interfered, pressuring international directors to name Miss Tibet as "Miss Tibet-China". Two Miss Tibets had to withdraw from international pageants — Zimbabwe[5] and Malaysia[6] — after they were asked to wear sashes with this title. Miss Tibet 2007 Tenzin Dolma was asked to wear such a sash in the Philippines at the last minute, but she refused, and was allowed to go ahead with the Miss Tibet sash. Miss Tibet 2006 Tsering Chungtak withdrew from the Miss Tourism Pageant in Malaysia after Chinese government representatives pressured the organiser to enter her as "Miss Tibet-China" in November 2007. Miss Tibet 2004 Tashi Yangchen had to withdraw from a pageant in Zimbabwe after the Chinese embassy in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, in a similar case of Chinese interference, asked her to wear a "Miss Tibet-China" sash in February 2005.

In October 2011, Tenzin Yangkyi, Miss Tibet 2011, was sent to the Miss Asia Pacific World 2011 beauty pageant, held in Daegu, Seoul, and Busan in South Korea.[7] During the pageant, Yangkyi received pressure from the Chinese government to wear a sash saying "Tibet-China", but she refused. Instead, she decided to change the sash name to "Swiss Tibet", as she is a Swiss citizen.[8]

Miss Tibet 2014[edit]

Tenzin Yangzom from Sikkim was selected unopposed as the titleholder of Miss Tibet 2014. She is multi-lingual and likes dancing, basketball, singing, painting and photography. Out of 8 applications received 5 were confirmed, but 4 withdrew at the last minute citing personal reasons.[9]

Miss Tibet 2013[edit]

A coronation ceremony of the Miss Tibet 2013 was held in Bangalore as Tenzing Lhamo from Madison, US, was the only one to come to participate in the pageant. She donated the prize money of 100,000 rupees for Tibetan activism. The pageant was originally planned to be held in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, the largest Tibetan settlement in India.[10]

Miss Tibet 2012[edit]

The Miss Tibet Pageant 2012 was cancelled in response to increased tensions in Tibet and in support of the protests there.[2][3] The Pageant was to be held in Dharamshala, India, from 8 to 10 June 2012.[11]

Miss Tibet 2011[edit]

Miss Tibet Pageant 2011 was the 10th edition of the annual event. The pageant was held in Dharamshala from 3 to 5 June.[12] Tenzin Yangkyi was selected by the judges as Miss Tibet 2011. She represented Tibet in the Miss Asia Pacific World 2011 beauty pageant.

Controversy/Accusations of fraud[edit]

On 5 June 2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Foreign Correspondent program aired a report which had followed contestants preparing for and undertaking the Miss Tibet 2011 contest. The report outlined the contestant's understanding of how they would be judged - a judging panel of non-Tibetans would be marking the contestants presentations. At the end of the program controversy erupted when the winner was announced.[13]

One contestant remarked that she thought Tenzin Khecheo would have won. Another stated "I think Lobsang Wangyul cheated - he's a fraud." The pageant organiser, Lobsang Wangyal, was confronted by the contestants who wanted to know how the judging had been processed. At first Lobsang Wangyal claimed the marking sheets had been stolen. "I don't have the judges' sheet. It was stolen ... on the night. ... It's not in the file. The file is empty. ... When I went onstage somebody stole it. I too was surprised." The contestants then pressed Lobsang Wangyal further, at which point he admitted the non-Tibetan judge's markings only affected 25% of the overall evaluation - that he himself controlled the remaining 75% of the marking, and as such, had effectively decided by himself which contestant had won. The confrontation then ended with the contestants walking out and stating to Lobsang Wangyal "You are a fraud." To which Lobsang Wangyal responded "Yeah ... yeah I am."

Lobsang Wangyal then made a follow up statement to the camera saying "Miss Tibet should be someone who should be calm and, you know ... listen and ... be respectful and see ... if this is how Miss Tibetan will be ... oh my god ... no way."

The report then finished with a comment from Ngodop Dolma: "When I look back into Miss Tibet what I've come to realise is that Lobsang's Miss Tibet does not empower Tibetan women but it does the opposite. It actually disempowers Tibetan women. So, I believe the only way it could have any values is if it were run by a woman."

List of Contestants[edit]

Name Age Education Hometown
Chemi Lhazom 25 MBA Delhi, India
Dolma Tsering 25 Bachelor of Computer Science Bangalore, India
Ngodup Dolma 25 Bachelor of Nursing Australia
Tenzin Khecheo 20 In college Minnesota, United States
Tenzin Sangmo 25 Bachelor of Commerce Dharamshala, India
Tenzin Yangkyi 17 Class X Zurich, Switzerland

Miss Tibet 2010[edit]

Tenzin Norzom from Varanasi, holder of a Shastri degree (equivalent to Bachelor of Arts in Buddhist Philosophy), was crowned Miss Tibet 2010 at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Mcleod Ganj, India, on 6 June 2010. She received one lakh (100,000.00) Indian rupees (equivalent to 2,200 USD). After the crowning, Norzom said she would use the title to promote the Tibetan cause.

Yangchen Metok, a 19-year-old girl who had escaped to India in 2008, was judged the first runner-up. She received 50,000.00 rupees. Rinchen Choden, a 25-year-old hair stylist from Bangalore, was chosen as the second runner-up. She was given a cheque of 25,000.00 rupees. The fourth place Tenzin Namchoe from Golok, Tibet, was given a token prize of 10,000 rupees.

Considering the Kyigudo earthquake in eastern Tibet in April, the pageant was kept low-profile. No firecrackers were set off, but instead a short prayer session was held at the opening of the show. Lobsang Wangyal, the director and the producer of the event, gave Rs.10,000 in donation to the victims of the earthquake.

Thousands of people in the audience cheered as the out-going beauty queen Tenzin Choezom crowned the new winner. A large number of media persons were also present to cover the event.

Kingfisher, a leading Indian brand, sponsored the pageant.

List of Contestants[edit]

Name Age Education Hometown
Rinchen Choden 25 Bachelor of Commerce Tawang, India
Tenzin Namchoe 22 Bachelor of Social Work Lhasa, Tibet
Tenzin Norzom 24 Shastri degree (= Bachelor of Arts) Hunsur, India
Yangchen Metok 19 Class VIII Golok, Tibet

Miss Tibet 2009[edit]

Tenzin Choezom, Miss Tibet 2009

Miss Tibet 2009 was held from 16–18 June 2009. The finale was held on 7 June at Tipa. The four participants arrived in Mcleod Ganj on 28 May. A week's training was given from 29 May, until 4 June. The first round — the swim suit round — of the Miss Tibet pageant 2009 was held on 5 June. Two more rounds — talk and talent rounds — was held on 6 June. The remaining four rounds — introduction, evening gown, traditional costume and interview rounds — were held on 7 June at Tipa.

Thousands in the audience witnessed the crowning of Tenzin Choezom as the new Miss Tibet. Dr BK Modi, the Chairman of the Spice Corp, crowned the winner. He also presented a scholarship cheque of one lakh rupees (100,000 rs) to Choezom. Ngawang Choying was picked the first runner-up and Dolkar the second runner-up by a four member jury. Ngawang and Dolkar received scholarship cheques of 50,000 rs and 25,000 rs respectively. Yeshi was presented a consolation prize of 5,000 rs.

List of Contestants[edit]

Name Age Education Hometown
Dolkar 24 Graduate Dehra Dun, India
Ngawang Choying 18 School Darjeeling, India
Tenzin Choezom 20 College Dharamshala, India
Yeshi Lhamo 24 Diploma in nursing Delhi, India

Miss Tibet 2008[edit]

Miss Tibet Pageant 2008 was held on Sunday 12 October 2008 at The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), Dharamshala, India. Two young women competed for the crown — Sonam Choedon, who came from Tibet to India in June 2008, and Jamyang Chentso, born in India[14] Sonam Choedon won the title.[15]

Sonam Choedon is a student. She is currently learning languages — English and Hindi. She is fluent in Tibetan and Chinese.

List of Contestants[edit]

Name Age Education Hometown
Jamyang Chentso 22 High School Kham, Tibet
Sonam Choedon 18 High School Darjeeling, India

Miss Tibet 2007[edit]

Miss Tibet Pageant 2007 was held from 12 to 14 October 2007 in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, India. Five young Tibetan women took part in the pageant. Tenzin Dolma from McLeod Ganj was crowned Miss Tibet 2007. She received a scholarship cheque of Rs100,000 (2,500 USD). She represented Tibet in the Miss Earth 2007 pageant in the Philippines in November 2007.

Tsering Yangzom from Kollegal Tibetan settlement, south India, was the First runner-up. She received Rs50,000 in scholarship. She was also the Miss Photogenic, receiving 1170 of the 3156 votes cast online at misstibet.com.

Deeki Dolma from Gangtok, Sikkim, was declared the Second runner-up. She received Rs25,000.

List of Contestants[edit]

Name Age Education Hometown
Deeki Dolma 20 College Sikkim, India
Tenzin Dolma 21 College Dharamshala, India
Tenzin Pema 19 B.A. Dehra Dun, India
Tenzing Dolma 25 MBA Sikkim, India
Tsering Yangzom 20 College Karnataka, India

Winners[edit]

Year Winner 1st Runner Up 2nd Runner Up Origin Remark
2011 Tenzin Yangkyi Ngodup Dolma Dolma Tsering Zurich, Switzerland Tenzin Yangkyi is a high school student in Zurich, Switzerland. She intends to become a professional model.
2010 Tenzin Norzom Yangchen Metok Rinchen Choden Varanasi, India Tenzin Norzom holds a Shastri Degree. She was born in Hunsur Tibetan settlement in South India.
2009 Tenzin Choezom Ngawang Choying Dolkar Dharamshala, India Tenzin Choezom is from Suja, near Bir in Himachal Pradesh. She has completed class XII, and is doing a computer course at the moment.
2008 Sonam Choedon Jamyang Chentso n/a Kham, Tibet In 2008, there were only two contestants, and hence there was no 2nd runner-up. Sonam Choedon didn't compete in any international pageant. Sonam Choedon is in Bylakuppe in South India, studying English and Buddhist philosophy.
2007 Tenzin Dolma Tsering Yangzom Deeki Dolma Dharamshala, India Miss Earth Pageant 2007, The Philippines [16]
2006 Tsering Chungtak Wangchuk Palmo Tseten Yangzom Shillong, India Miss Earth Pageant 2006, The Philippines [17]

Miss Tourism Pageant 2007, Malaysia [18]

2005 Tenzin Nyima n/a n/a Bylakuppe, India The 2005 Pageant had only one contestant.
2004 Tashi Yangchen Gangtok, Sikkim Expelled: Miss Tourism World Pageant Zimbabwe, due to pressure from China [19]
2003 Tsering Kyi n/a n/a Amdo, Tibet The 2005 Pageant had only one contestant.
Tsering Kyi met Prince Charles in New Delhi India, October 2003 [20]
2002 Dolma Tsering Minyak, Tibet Participant: Miss Tourism Intercontinental Pageant 2003, Malaysia [21]

Winner: Best National Costume, Queen of Tourism International 2003, Mexico [22]

External links and references[edit]

Footnotes[edit]