Training and Workshops:
The Contestants gear up for Pageant

Prof. Ngawang Thondup Narkyid gave a talk about Tibetan Government-in-exile

Prof. Ngawang Thondup Narkyid gave a talk about Tibetan Government-in-exile

The Miss Tibet Contestants working on make-up

Working on make-up

photos by Rinchen Tsering

by Kirsten Hyde

5 October 2004 – With only three days to go until the first round of the Miss Tibet 2004 pageant, the contestants spent much of the day working on a fitness and beauty regime with the help of make-up artists and a choreographer.

The competition kicks off this Friday with a swimsuit round. Out of respect for the sentiments of a section of the Tibetan community, this will be closed to the public and only jurors and the media will be allowed in.

There are seven rounds in total – swimsuit, presentation, talent, introduction, evening gown, traditional Tibetan costume, and a final interview round where the judges will put questions to the contestants. The girls are taking lessons in Tibetan culture, history and current affairs with experts from the Tibetan community in a week-long training schedule designed to prepare them for this pageant and possible international competitions.

This morning the girls met with Professor Ngawang Thondup Narkyid, the official biographer of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Narkyid, whose first volume of 'The Biography of the X1V Dalai Lama' is due for release in December, discussed the history of Tibet; ethics and patriotism; and explained His Holiness' advice on how to practise Dharma.

This afternoon the girls took a lesson in swing dancing with Tim Collins, an instructor from Seattle, Washington. Swing is a group of dance moves that began in the 1920s in Harlem in the US and then developed alongside jazz music.

After an action-packed day, the five contestants then attended the opening of the Tibetan Film Festival this evening at TIPA (Tibetan Institute of Performing Art) in McLeod Ganj.

Both the film festival and the Miss Tibet pageant are part of the Free Spirit Festival, which is designed to show the talents of the younger generation of Tibetans through a range of artistic expressions including photography, painting, sculpture, music and other creative arts. Lobsang Wangyal created the Free Spirit Festival five years ago.

For more details click on 'Schedule'.

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