By Rachael Krishna
ON THE WEB, 30 June 2016
Tenzing Sangnyi is a 21-year-old nursing student from Delhi, India. Sangnyi’s parents are Tibetan refugees.
Earlier this month, Sangnyi was crowned Miss Tibet 2016.
However, soon after her win was announced. Sangnyi began receiving messages and comments from people saying she didn’t deserve to win because she cannot speak the Tibetan language.
Online users bombarded the Facebook announcement of her win with criticism of what they feel is a lack of knowledge about Tibetan culture.
A week after the announcement, Sangnyi took to her Facebook and the official Miss Tibet website to plead for patience from her trolls.
Sangnyi promised to improve her language skills, but she also said not speaking Tibetan doesn’t make her any less Tibetan and that as the daughter of refugees she wasn’t able to be exposed to as much as her parent’s home culture as she would have liked.
Commenters on the Facebook post were hugely supportive of the pageant queen.
Since the post, she has given an interview to the Tibet Times about the controversy.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Sangnyi for comment.