No guts, no glory

MCLEOD GANJ, India, 8 October 2005

Tenzin Nyima is a rare Tibetan woman. She is one of the eight applicants to be Miss Tibet 2005. After the others backed off from participating, she became unopposed Miss Tibet 2005.

For a society like ours, her decision to be a Miss Tibet is not an easy one. We believe that her participation is a bold step and a brave act, which will help break the rigidity of our society and pave a way to come out of the shell of conservatism.

Future generation Tibetans should be free of hypocritical society and to be what they can be and to be what they want to be.

Although the Miss Tibet Pageant is not intended to serve any political agenda, Chinese government involvement put us in the limelight. Miss Tibet 2004 Tashi Yangchen was ousted from a pageant in Zimbabwe after she was there for a few days, and in Malaysia a demand came for Miss Tibet to be represented as "Miss Tibet-China", after the Chinese embassies in the respective countries pressured the organisers of these pageants.

These actions got Africa talking about Tibet! And in Malaysia, the story appeared on the front page of national dailies.

Miss Tibet has no politics. It is organised for young Tibetan women to be themselves and to catch up with the changing times. It is more importantly an event to open up the ways for the future generation of Tibetans. But, of course, this is just one of many events to achieve these goals.

After all the Chinese brouhaha about Miss Tibet, I, as the director of the Miss Tibet Pageant, was invited to be a judge in the Miss Tourism Pageant in Malaysia. Perhaps it showed that the world loves Miss Tibet and they wanted some connection with us. The BBC was again interested to carry a piece on this year's Miss Tibet. It was the fourth piece on their website about Miss Tibet.

Miss Tibet was born out of the Free Spirit Festival ( It has now swelled to such an array of events that we have separated the pageant and the other events that form entities of their own from the festival. The Miss Tibet Pageant will be held every year. Other events such as the Tibetan Music Awards, the Tibetan Film Festival and the others that are being planned will be held every other year or when announced.

The Free Spirit Festival itself will make a comeback in its original form in the near future. Han-Shan and Liam Phelan are the winners of this year's Free Spirit Award. They raised a banner in Beijing in August 2004 that said: "No Olympics in China until Tibet is Free".

Their accounts of the demonstration are on

We would like to throw out an idea that Tibetans honour the non-Tibetan winners of the Free Spirit Award with honorary citizenship of Tibet.

Tenzin Dhonyoe designed the Miss Tibet 2005 magazine. But we have some advertisements designed by the advertisers themselves, which we have put on the inside back cover. We are pleased to see that Mcleod Ganj is quietly becoming computer savvy and developing a taste for designing. We have left the space open for you to rate the best design.

Kyipo tang!

Lobsang Wangyal

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