Sole Contestant Becomes Miss Tibet 2003


Listen to the original broadcast in Tibetan here .

WASHINGTON--A 20-year-old writer from northeastern Tibet has become the second Miss Tibet at a contest run by Tibetan exiles in India, after nine other contestants dropped out of the running, RFA's Tibetan service reports. Tsering Kyi, from the Labdrang region of Amdo in northeastern Tibet, vowed to use her newfound celebrity to promote and preserve Tibetan culture.

The five-day contest was originally set to begin Oct. 8, with a new Miss Tibet crowned Oct. 12. But all nine of Kyi�s competitors were unable to attend, citing family illnesses and other constraints--so Kyi won by default. "I feel very disappointed that I am the only contestant for Miss Tibet, but I will use this honor for the best purpose," she said.

Kyi�s crowning as Miss Tibet will now take place ahead of schedule on Oct. 9 at a ceremony at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamsala, India, where she will receive a cash prize of 100,000 rupees (US $2,200).

"As I am being honored today as Miss Tibet, I will apply this honor toward the preservation of Tibetan culture and traditions, and as best as possible, to help promote the cause of Tibet around the world. That is my ultimate mission," Kyi told reporters.

Speaking later to RFA's Tibetan service, Kyi voiced disappointment that the community of Tibetans in exile isn't unified.

"When I escaped into exile, I came [to India] with a vision that Tibetans in exile are united and free from discord of sectarianism and regionalism and are fully dedicated to serve the cause of Tibet," she said in an interview. "But to my great disappointment, I found Tibetans in exile are not free from the divisive forces of narrow sectarian and regional affiliations... I saw most people in a relaxed state of mind as if unaware of the fact that they are a stateless people."

"I have seen that most people are devoted to pursuing personal goals and do little to preserve Tibetan culture and promote Tibet�s cause.�

Kyi, a writer, was born in Labdrang, Amdo Prefecture, in 1983. In 1999, she fled to India--where the Tibetan exile government is based--to pursue more educational opportunities. She has received accolades for her writing and belongs to the prestigious Guild of Tibetan Writers. Among her works is a book titled Prose of Tsering Kyi.

The annual Shambala Miss Tibet pageant was created in 2002 by Dharamsala-based Tibetan exile Lobsang Wangyal in what he describes as an effort to elevate the status of Tibetan women.


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