22-year-old Delhi University student crowned Miss Tibet 2005

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Twenty-two-year-old Tenzin Nyima, the only contestant at the Miss Tibet 2005, and a student of Delhi University, was crowned Miss Tibet this year with a lot of applause and support in Dharamshala.

It has been a lonely ride to the top for this year's Miss Tibet, as the young girl Nyima was the only contestant at the competition.

Lobsang Wangyal, director of the contest, welcomed the lone contender on the stage.

Focusing on the contest, Tenzin Nyima said, "What I think is that I am the only contestant because Tibetan girls are very shy in nature. Due to shyness, they lack sufficient confidence which makes it unable for them to come up and face the situation on stage."

Nyima, while urging other Tibetan girls to come forward and participate in the contest said, "I would like to give a message that I have become Miss Tibet 2005 today and if given an opportunity, I will surely stand for Tibet and I also want you to co-operate with me."

For the second time in the history of the event, there was just one contestant for the pageant. Earlier in 2003, there was only one contestant who was unanimously crowned.

This is the fourth year of the controversial Miss Tibet contest as the tradition-bound and conservative Tibetans disapprove public display by women. However, Wangyal is not disappointed and will continue holding beauty pageants.

Wangyal used this contest as a platform to express his views and said, "I think the problem is that our society is not very open. I feel it’s a very hypocritical society and moreover Tibetan girls are very shy and they are not ambitious enough to come forward."

Wangyal also handed over a cheque of rupees 1,00,000 to Nyima as a scholarship.

Despite heavy rains and earthquake earlier in the day, the ceremony kicked off well and evoked good response from the public who gathered in Dharamshala to witness the event.

The Tibetan government led by Prime Minister Samadhong Rimpoche has expressed strong reservations about the contest finding it disrespectful of Tibetan culture.

Ironically, some elders, including the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, have supported the contest saying that such events would bring youngsters close to the modern world, which would boost their confidence.

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