After holding the Miss Tibet beauty pageant in the hill town for a full decade, the organisers have now shifted the controversial contest, one of the most-awaited annual Tibetan events, out of Dharamsala.
Miss Tibet pageant-2013 will be held in Bylakuppe, the largest Tibetan settlement in Karnataka.
The pageant has been held for 10 consecutive years in Dharamshala ever since it was started in 2002. Since most of the Tibetans-in-exile live in South India, the organisers have decided to shift the venue.
"It was deemed important to bring the pageant to south India so that people there can share and experience this," said Lobsang Wangyal, the event's director-producer, adding that a large Tibetan population lives in South India but they have never seen the event.
With the shifting of the venue, the timings of the event have also been changed. Usually held in June, the pageant next year will be held in February.
"The event will be held from February 10 to 13. The weather in South India this time around is pleasant as compared to Dharamsala where the event was in mid-year," said Wangyal.
Giving another reason for holding the event in the starting of 2013, Wangyal said, "This is the time of Tibetan New Year, Losar."
"People gather in a large number, especially in the settlement situated in South India to celebrate the occasion," said Wangyal, adding that "even people settled in US and Europe also try to come to India, taking a break from their business so it is the best time to organise the event in South India".
Wangyal further said that eventually the event would be held in other parts of the country where Tibetan people are settled in large numbers. He said it could be organised in Dehradun or Sikkim after Bylakuppi.
"Meanwhile, I am looking forward to make the 2013 edition a success and preparations are already under way to make it an exciting and memorable pageant," said Wangyal, adding that "applications will be online soon. The last date to submit the form will be January 15, 2013."
In the wake of the growing unrest, to protest Tibet's 'grim' condition under the Chinese government, the organisers had decided to forgo this year's Miss Tibet Pageant 2012.
"With the lives of many Tibetans at stake, the very grim circumstances, we had cancelled the event. That was time to remember and pay homage to those who died for the Tibetan cause and stand in solidarity with all the Tibetans in Tibet," said Wangyal, adding that "next year's Miss Tibet will be dedicated to the critical situation in Tibet and especially for those who have sacrificed their lives for the Tibetan cause".
The Miss Tibet contest started in 2002 amid mixed response from the exiled Tibetans. Many, including the Tibetan government-in-exiles, had vehemently opposed the event, saying it was not part of Tibetan tradition. Besides, it remained in many other controversies during different editions.