By Kunzang Palmo | MHP
ON THE WEB, 5 October 2015
Tanshuman Gurung, from Uttrakhand, was crowned Miss Himalaya 2015 in McLeod Ganj, India, on 4 October 2015. Gurung, a 23-year-old student of MA English from IGNOU, said she will try to fullfill the role that the title brings. Tenzin Sangnyi, a Tibetan living in Manali, was declared the first runner-up, and Chum Darang, from Arunachal Pradesh, the second runner-up. The winners were given cash prize of rupees one lakh (100,000), rupees fifty thousand, and rupees twenty-five thousand respectively.
The finale night on Sunday evening buzzed with energy as the crowd filled nearly every seat at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA). Mistress of Ceremonies Tenzin Nyima was eloquent and composed as she opened the show.
Cassie Childers, Executive Director of the Tibet Women’s Football programme, and Nalini Gurung, a Teacher by profession, judged the final three rounds.
The Pageant began with the Introduction round in which each young lady introduces herself to the judges and audience. Nineteen year old Swattee Thakur stated, “I’m here because I want to explore my talent inside, and yes appreciate my talent and beauty.”
As the contestants prepared for the Costume round, the crowd was wowed by several generations of talented local artistes: Chondhen, Thinley Choephel and his son, and Tsona Tennor. Next was the Costume round as the contestants took the stage with their traditional clothing from their area of origin.
The stage was then taken by two very special artistes: Ray Mugen from Japan performed Butoh dance, and the new sensation of McLeod Ganj, Mariko, danced to the tunes of Bollywood numbers.
The Interview round was exciting as the judges asked questions of the contestants, in pop-quiz style. Not knowing what to expect the young ladies were sincere and open to each question. Tenzing Sangnyi was asked a very difficult question in which she had to choose, name and tell which of her co-contestants should be the next Miss Himalaya, if not her! Tenzing answered in true fashion to the Miss Himalaya Pageant as she named Chum Darang from Arunachal Pradesh.
The crowd was pleased to see the 2014 Miss Himalaya, Jyoti Dogra, to present the crown to Tanshuman Gurung as the crowd cheered the new Miss Himalaya.
The previous day marked the official opening of the Pageant. The day’s activities consisted of the contestants preparing for the Talk and Talent competitions. In the afternoon the contestants arrived at TIPA as the crew made last minute preparations. The ladies took up residency in TIPA’s greenroom, which quickly filled with costume changes, makeup and hair supplies and accessories.
Backstage was fuelled with energy as the ladies continued to study for the Talk round. The hair and makeup crew assisted the contestants with hair and makeup as family and friends made backstage appearances with blessings and good luck wishes.
The Talk competition consists of a five-minute round in which the contestants speak on one of seven predetermined topics about the Himalayan region. Due to the lottery-style draw, the women must study for all the questions. Approximately one hour before the competition, the contestants chose their topic by lottery, and began crafting their response. Upon seeing her topic, Tenzing Sangnyi said, “I knew I was going to get this question.” All the contestants were pleased with their choices.
The Talent competition inspired the crowd to cheer and hoot as two contestants sang and four ladies performed lively and at times seductive dances. After her performance, Tanshuman Gurung stated, “It was a tough competition but after watching the other dancers, I felt that I rocked it!”
After the close of the show several impromptu performances took place on stage as audience members shared their talents.