Stage set with five contenders for first Mr Tibet show

The five contestants in the first Mr Tibet contest pose for a photo after a press conference in McLeod Ganj, India, on 23 October 2017. From Left: Lobsang Choephel, Nyima, Tenzin Lhoden, Karma Thutop, and Tsering Choephel.

The five contestants in the first Mr Tibet contest pose for a photo after a press conference in McLeod Ganj, India, on 23 October 2017. From left: Lobsang Choephel, Nyima, Tenzin Lhoden, Karma Thutop, and Tsering Choephel. Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal

McLEOD GANJ, India, 23 October 2017

The maiden staging of Mr Tibet contest is all set for a three-day show in the exile Tibetan capital of McLeod Ganj this weekend.

Five Tibetan men will contend for the Rs 1,10,000 (USD 1,700 approx) top prize in a show that will conclude this Saturday at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. The second place will receive Rs 70,000, while the third place will get Rs 40,000.

Yak Events, headed by 23-year-old Tenzin Tashi, introduced the contestants in a press conference.

The winner will be decided after six rounds of competition over three days, from 26 to 28 October at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.

Pavan Shetty, Mr World 2015, will be the Chief Judge. Other Judges are Tenzin Jamyang, Mr East India; Sonam Tsering from Canada, the organiser of Miss Tibet North America; and Beatriz Bispo, a former model and choreographer from Brazil.

The contestants are Tsering Choephel and Nyima from Bangalore, Karma Thutop from Bir, Tenzin Lhoden from Hunsur Tibetan settlement, and Lobsang Choephel from McLeod Ganj.

Five rounds, in Sports and Fitness, Swim Trunk, Fashion and Glamour, Talent and Q&A, and Multimedia, will test the contestants to win the title.

Director of the event Tenzin Tashi explained that the criteria to participate in the event a contestant are that he must be a bonafide Tibetan (proved by the Green Book that registers payment of tax to the Central Tibetan Administration), between the age of 18 and 40, with a minimum height of 5.7 feet, be unmarried, and be free of any criminal and civil cases.

Speaking to Tibet Sun, Tashi said that he conceived the idea of organising the Mr Tibet contest eight months ago with the motives of creating health consciousness and letting young Tibetan men fulfil their dreams to be a Mr Tibet.

A DJ by profession, Tashi, founder of Yak Events, had organised Tibet Got Talent earlier this year.

“I am very excited about the event, but feel nervous at the same time as it’s a huge responsibility and a risk as well. But everything happens for a reason and for good.”

Carrying an ambitious dream, Tashi says that he will try to bring the winner Mr Tibet to the Mr World competition.

Being introduced to Tibet Sun, Karma said that his family and friends encouraged him to participate in the Mr Tibet contest as he is interested in fitness. “Their support and encouragement boosted my confidence.”

Karma goes to Rewa in Madhya Pradesh in central India for winter sweater business. In summer he is in Bir managing a gym.

“Not many youth are interested in fitness. As an instructor, I train and talk about diet and nutrition.”

Lobsang Choephel from McLeod Ganj was born in Tibet in 1993. He fled to India in 2001, and attended school here. He is now training to be a baker in Dehra Dun.

Choephel is currently based in McLeod Ganj, supplying bakery products to caf├ęs.

“There is a Miss Tibet Pageant, but why not a Mr Tibet contest, I wondered many years ago,” Choephel says.

When his friends heard about the Mr Tibet contest, he was informed about it, and was also encouraged to participate in it.

Earlier this year he participated in the Mr Himachal contest and won the title in the 70-to-75kg body-building category. He was second in the fitness category.

“I will keep doing my fitness practice, and will encourage others about the importance of fitness in their daily lives, in particular bringing awareness about the dangers of substance abuse.”

Nyima from Bangalore is a law student, and is also in the Global Tibetan Students Union. For him, fitness and education are a passion. “I have been working very hard for these two things.”

“Mr Tibet is a way for me to inspire the younger generation, and an opportunity for me to show them an example.”

He said that through providing social services at the Student Union he gets to meet many people, which helped him to build his confidence to do things together with others. “These give me the confidence that there is hope.”

He also feels that if he wins the competition and is able to participate in the events like Mr World, “I can carry the voice of the Tibetan people to the world stage.”

Fitness trainer Tsering Choephel, 28, from Bangalore says that he was excited to participate in this first-time event.

“Being a fitness trainer, I wish to help the cause to bring awareness about the fitness and a healthy life style.”

“Fitness plays an important role in this event, I feel that it is my responsibility to do something about it, and be a part of this event.”

Originally from Hunsur, but currently based in Shillong, Tenzin Lhoden says that through the event he wants to tell about his idea to the younger generation that degree and certificate alone is not enough, but that confidence, patience, and hard work are more important.

“These will lead you to achieve your dreams.”

Youngest among the five, Lhoden, 23, is being trained as a steward in Shillong.

Director Tenzin Tashi promises a grand show. “We will not settle for anything less,” he says.


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