By Anjali Bisaria
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 6 June 2017
21-year-old Tenzin Paldon from Karnataka was crowned Miss Tibet 2017 at the 15th edition of the annual pageant held in Dharamshala on June 4.
A member of the cabin crew with SpiceJet Airlines, Paldon graduated from the Frankfinn Institute with a degree in aviation management.
The pageant saw a total of nine participants, none of whom has ever visited Tibet before. They are members of the 100,000-strong Tibetan community that was established in India in 1960 following Dalai Lama’s exile into the country.
But here’s the catch. This is one contest that gets zero sponsors. Judges and participants are hard to find and it, more often than not, gets ensnared in controversy, like objections from conservative Tibetan members and feminist complaining on moral grounds.
This year’s pageant was attended by over 3,000 people, the organisers said. On the first day of the three-day event, contestants participated in the swimsuit round on June 2. The second day saw a talk and talent round on June 3. The grand finale was held on June 4 with four rounds — introduction, gown, traditional costume, and interview.
The winner Paldon got a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, while the first and runners-up were given Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively. With this feat, Paldon is hopeful of taking her win international and apprising the world of Tibetan culture, its issues and causes.