Promising to remain committed to the Tibetan cause, 23-year-old Tenzin Norzom has won the Kingfisher Miss Tibet Pageant 2010 at McLeodganj near this Himachal Pradesh hill town, an event organiser said on Monday.
"Tenzin Norzom was crowned Miss Tibet during the ninth edition of the pageant that concluded last (Sunday) night," Lobsang Wangyal told IANS in this seat of the Tibetan government in exile.
Well versed in Hindi and English, Tenzin said: "My dream (of winning the pageant) has been fulfilled. I would try to be a role model for the younger generation and will encourage other Tibetan girls to participate in such contests to tell the world that we don't lack confidence."
She said she would remain committed to the Tibetan cause and would promote the unique culture of her community across the globe.
Yangchen Metok, a 19-year-old girl from McLeodganj, and Rinchen Choeden, 25, from Bangalore were the first and second runner-up, respectively.
"China is not keen at Tibetans getting better education facilities," said Yangchen, who escaped to India in 2008 from her home in Amdoh in Tibet.
"The beauty pageant highlights the aspirations of six million Tibetans living in the Tibet region of China and over 150,000 living in India to get freedom," she added.
A hair stylist by profession, Rinchen is keen to promote the cause of the exiles across the globe.
This time too, the contentious issue of Tibet and Chinese 'occupation' continued to hog the limelight during the question-answer session.
The three-day event that began June 4 saw four models vying for the title. Initially, 15 contestants applied for the contest but most dropped out because of pressure from family and friends who were opposed to the pageant.
Last year too, only four models participated in the Miss Tibet contest that started in 2002 amid mixed responses from the exiles. Many opposed the pageant, saying it was "un-Tibetan". Even the Tibetan government-in-exile has condemned the pageant, saying it is not part of their tradition.
Miss Tibet 2010 was awarded Rs.100,000, while the first runner-up was presented Rs.50,000 and the second runner-up Rs.25,000.