Education key for Tibet’s future: Miss Tibet

Tenzin Choezom waves after being crowned Miss Tibet 2009 in Mcleod Ganj, India, on 7 June 2009.

Tenzin Choezom waves after being crowned Miss Tibet 2009 in Mcleod Ganj, India, on 7 June 2009. She says that education is the key to achieve the goal of a free Tibet. File photo/OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor

By Rinchen

DHARAMSHALA, India, 9 June 2009

Tenzin Choezom, a twenty-year-old student from Dharamshala, was crowned the new Miss Tibet on Sunday night said education is the key to achieve the goal of a Free Tibet.

Four contestants of the Spice India Splendour Miss Tibet Pageant were tested in four final rounds — introduction, evening gown, traditional and interview — for the title.

Dr BK Modi, a renowned Industrialist and the chairman of Spice and India Splendour, crowned the new Miss Tibet at the Tibetan Insitute of Performing Arts in Mcleod Ganj, India. Modi also presented the prize money of 100,000 rupees to the winner.

Ngwang Choying, a class XII student from Darjeeling, was adjudged the first runner-up, receiving a prize money of 50,000 rupees, while Dolkar from Dehra Dun won third place with a prize of 25,000 rupees. Yeshi Lhamo, the fourth contestant, received a consolation prize of rupees 5,000.

The winner was decided by a panel of four-member jury — Natasha Mendez (belly dance instructor), Neelima Kanwar (lecturer at the Himachal Pradesh University), Ram Swaroop (former President of Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association) and Thierry Dodin (Director Tibet Infonet).

“Spice Corp”: — a telecommunications and entertainment company in India — chaired by Dr BK Modi was the sponsor of the pageant. It was for the first time in eight years of the pageant’s history that it received a corporate sponsorship.

The finale started with a talk by the pageant director Lobsang Wangyal who dedicated the event to: “Celebrating 50 years of Tibet on world stage,” “Thank you India for 50 years of help and hospitality,” “Hard work by the older generation Tibetans,” and “The sacrifices by Tibetans in Tibet.”

Fireworks, performances by a couple of Tibetan artistes, kathak dance and a presentation by body builder Dawa Norbu from Arunachal Pradesh were the other attractions of the show.

The crowning took place amid thunderous applause by over 2000 in the audience. The newly crowned Tenzin Choezom, shed tears of joy as she began to thank her mother and other family members.

In the final interview round, judge Ram Swaroop asked Choezom: “What is your message to the Tibetan youth in exile?”

“The reason for losing our country is due to lack of education among Tibetans. Education is most important in our life to achieve our goals and the goal for a Free Tibet.”

Answering questions by journalists, Choezom said, “I now have a huge responsibility, so I would like to use the title to become a worthy spokesperson for Tibet and Tibetan women.”

Talking about the whole experience of the pageant, Choezom told this reporters that she learned and understood the real situation of the Tibetan people more clearly. “I realised how much I didn’t know about Tibet and the Tibetan cause. It was a great learning experience.

The whole experience made me more confident.”

Choezom was born in Dhramshala, India, and completed her schooling from Tibetan Nehru Memorial Foundation School in Dehra Dun. She likes traditional dance and music (can play four instruments), drawing, playing basket ball and ping pong. Green is her favourite colour. Her favourite books are the Harry Potter series, and has read first four books. She is looking forward to read the fifth book. She enjoys watching horror and romantic movies.

Speaking about her ideal man, she says, “I don’t give importance to external appearances. He should be stable with his partner, respectful and understanding. Intelligence is top priority.”

She now would like to pursue her further studies either in journalism or nursing in Delhi. “I will use the prize money for my studies.”

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