Miss Himalaya pageant to showcase mountain beauty

By S Gopal Puri | The Times of India

McLeod Ganj is all set to host the first-ever beauty pageant that would showcase Himalayan beauty, besides highlighting different cultures. The unique concept has been developed by some Tibetans, who were also the organizers of the Miss Tibet contest.

The contest has been christened “Miss Himalaya pageant” by its director, Lobsang Wangyal. The event — a celebration of the beautiful cultures, people, and nature of the Himalaya region — is likely to bring beautiful women from the entire region onto one platform.

“Women belong to various ethnic groups including Tamang, Gurung, Sherpa, Sikkimese, Bhutia, Lepcha, Bhutanese, Tibetan, and Nepalese, besides those living in Lakakh and Lahul and Spiti, will be eligible to participate in the contest,” said Wangyal, who is also the director the Miss Tibet pageant.

He disclosed that the inaurgual pageant is likely to be held by October this year and preparations for that are under way.

Applications for the contest have been available online since January 1. The idea is to bring glamour and culture from the entire Himalayan region onto one platform to celebrate the beauitful people and nature of the Himalayan region, said Wangyal. The organizers pointed out that what is [an] appealing fact about Himalayan women is the knowledge about the local area, their participation in earning livelihood in the mountainous region, and they having the same ability as the men to adapt to climate changes.

“There is still lack of recognition of women’s contribution which impedes their effective participation in decision-making in the economic, politcal, and social arenas,” they pointed out.

Himalayan women require proper exposure and access to services and appropriate technologies to meet their needs. To some extent, the pageant will also make them understand how to adapt to the changing world.

Copyright © 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd Published in The Times of India - The Times of India, 25 January 2012, page 5.