Beijing: Struggling to gain entry to the top global beauty pageants due to objections from China, Miss Tibet 2011 Tenzin Yangkyi has said the best way for her to highlight the Tibetan question in the international arena is through participation in such contests.
Yangkyi, a 19-year-old Tibetan student from Zurich, Switzerland, who hit the headlines last year after winning Miss Tibet pageant in India, told the Chinese state-run media that by taking part in these contests she "hopes to draw attention of international community towards the Tibetan question."
In an email interview with the Global Times, Yangkyi, who speaks Tibetan, German and English, said she has been getting offers to perform in Tibetan films and music videos.
She said she is currently busy modelling for Tibetan fashion designers in the US and pin-up calendars in India.
Yangkyi described her first international pageant – the scandal-hit Miss Asia Pacific World 2011 beauty pageant in South Korea -- as a "big mess."
Last year, she came face-to-face with Miss China Xue Ying Bian in South Korea, where she was asked to change her sash to "Miss Swiss-Tibet" after her "contentious identity" evoked objections from China, which calls Tibet its integral part.
Yangkyi made a splash after winning the Miss Tibet title last year asserting that "Miss Tibet can help the Tibetan issue in a great many ways. Being Miss Tibet means representing Tibet, and the name itself only gets the attention of the media."
"The media is the ultimate way to raise Tibet`s voice to the world. Specially, Miss Tibet can help raise awareness of the Tibetan issue within the youngsters," she had said during her participation at the pageant.
China too subsequently organised a beauty pageant called Miss Tibet of Tourism in which several local girls participated.
Miss Tibet contest, organised by 42-year-old Tibetan refugee Lobsang Wangyal in Dharamshala, was questioned by the Chinese government as well as conservative Tibetans who asserted it violated the age-old values of Tibetan culture.
This year`s Miss Tibet pageant is supposed to be held in June. The deadline for applications is to end this month.
But Wangyal said he is finding it difficult to organize it due to financial problems.