Miss Tibet meets Miss China in Malaysia

Miss Tibet, Dolma Tsering, a Tibetan living in exile in India, and Miss China, Dong Mei Xi, may have contributed towards narrowing the political gap between the two communities when they posed together for the cameras on 2 April 2003, in the Malaysian city of Kuching.

Contestants from 32 countries pose in their national costumes Dolma Tsering with the winners The winners and other Title winners

Dolma Tsering, who was crowned the first ever Miss Tibet in Dharamsala, India, on 12 October 2002, and Dong Mei Xi, who is Miss China, were there to participate in the Miss Tourism Intercontinental 2003 contest. According to an AFP report of 1 April 2003 from Kuching, "Both of them told reporters that they did not wish to comment on any politics," but the organisers of the contest said they were happy to bring them together to the same podium.

"I am happy to see Tibet and China together in this pageant. It is a success in its own way of bringing people together," promoter Alaric Soh, a Malaysian Chinese told AFP. Talking to the New Straits Times of Malaysia, Dolma Tsering said she would take the opportunity at the pageant to promote Tibet.

"I will definitely tell the other contestants about Tibet and our culture," said Tsering, who was dressed in the colourful costume of the Kham tribe and adorned with a bead necklace and a hat.

Contestants from 32 countries pose in swimwear in Damai Lagoon Resorts

Contestants from 32 countries vied for the Miss Tourism Intercontinental 2003 contest, which was held from 1 to 12 April 2003 in Kuching, Sarawak. Organisers say the contest aims to enable the participants to share common values, to foster international friendship and goodwill, and to celebrate the stunning diversity of human culture.

Dolma Tsering and Dong Mei Xi in Kuching City, Malaysia Dolma Tsering with Elitra Coelo (Miss India) Miss Hong Kong, Miss China, Miss Tibet and Miss Macau Dong Mei Xi and Dolma Tsering

Miss South Africa, Charlene Gerber, was crowned the Miss Tourism Intercontinental 2003. The 20-year-old Gerber, with a vital statistics of 87-67-94, received USD 5000 cash.

Miss Ukraine, Alina Seleznyova, was adjudged as the first runner up while Miss Australia, Jessica Catherine was the second runner up.

Miss Tibet, Dolma Tsering, won the Miss Goodwill subsidiary title while Miss China, Dong Mei Xi, won the Miss Charm title.

The Best National Costume title went to Miss Thailand, Sunisa Pasuk. Miss Brasil, Francisca Monteiro, was Miss Talent. Miss Vietnam, Chu Thi Van Anh, won the Best Evening Gown title and Miss Malaysia, Sanny Lu Poh Yee, won the Miss Congeniality title. The subsidiary title winners were awarded USD 500 each.

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