By Kunzang Palmo | MHP
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 3 October 2015
This year marks the third Miss Himalaya Pageant with six beautiful young women from the Himalayan region participating in five rounds of competition. The Pageant contestants arrived on October 1st and were greeted by Pageant Director, Lobsang Wangyal, at a mid-morning brunch held at Hotel Tibet in McLeod Ganj.
Day one: Thursday 1st October
The day’s activities included a walking tour of two spiritual sites, a visit to the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, and a photo shoot in Naddi Village.
The contestants began their walking tour with a visit to the Tibet Museum where they learned about the Tibetan diaspora and current status of the Tibetan people. Then the ladies toured His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s temple, where they were spiritually inspired. Chum Darang, from Arunachal Pradesh, stated “the temple had me captivated. It was full of tranquillity and serenity.”
Next, contestants and crew jumped into taxis for a short trip to the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile where the girls toured the Parliament Chambers and learned about the inner workings of the exiled government. Tenzing Sangnyi, from Manali, stated that she “felt inspired and thought of what it would be like to be a representative in the future.”
After a healthy lunch and a short break, the contestants were taxied up to Naddi Village. The girls were photographed with the Himalayan mountain-scape as the backdrop. Contestant Tanshuman Gurung, from Uttarakhand, stated the location made her “feel good due to the all-around beauty.” Afterwards, contestants enjoyed chai and conversation before heading off to the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) to practice the Talk round on stage. While at TIPA the girls received guidance and instructions from the Pageant Director, and practiced their walks and Talk competition.
The contestants are: Chum Darang from Arunachal Pradesh; Priyanka Verma from Himachal Pradesh; Samrity Verma from Himachal Pradesh; Swattee Thakur from Himachal Pradesh; Tanshuman Gurung from Uttarakhand; and Tenzing Sangnyi from Tibet, living in Manali (HP). See their profiles.
Day two: Friday 2nd October
On day two, the Miss Himalaya Pageant started with a press conference at the Bhagsu Hotel in McLeod Ganj. The contestants walked from Bhagsu Road through the town square to the hotel. When the young ladies walk through town all heads turn, and this morning was no different!
At the press conference, Pageant Director Lobsang Wangyal spoke eloquently about the Pageant’s goals of promoting tourism, culture, and woman empowerment. Afterwards, the contestants had a rigorous photo shoot with many of the local news agencies. In fact, the photo shoot caught the attention of a tourist who joined in and began photographing the contestants alongside the professionals.
After a lively lunch and rest period, the contestants took an invigorating walk through the beautiful forest before arriving at TIPA. For the next two hours they rehearsed for the Talent competition. While on stage, the contestants danced and sung to their chosen tunes, while receiving positive feedback and kindly critiques from the coordinators and other contestants. Special unexpected guests at times accompanied the rehearsals, as local children decided to take part by sneaking up on the stage.
Once back at the hotel, dinner was served. The contestants then hurried off, excited to study for the Talk competition and prepare their wardrobe for the competition.