Miss China and Miss Tibet

Miss Dolma Tsering (left), first-ever Shambala Miss Tibet, and Miss Mei Xi, Miss China, at the Miss Tourism Intercontinental 2003 contest.

A Tibetan woman from exile and a Chinese woman from China may have contributed towards narrowing the political gap between the two communities when they posed together for the cameras on April 2, 2003, in the Malaysian town of Kuching. Miss Dolma Tsering, who was crowned Shambala Miss Tibet following the first-ever such contests in Dharamsala on October 12, 2002, and Miss Mei Xi, who is Miss China, were there to participate in the Miss Tourism Intercontinental 2003 contest.

According to an AFP report of April 1, 2003 from Kuching, “Both of them told reporters that they did not “wish to comment on any politics”, but the organisers of the contest said they were happy to bring them to the same podium.

“I am happy to see Tibet and China together in this pageant. It is a success in its own way of bringing people together,” promoter Alaric Soh told AFP.

AFP commended the gesture of the Tibetan woman saying, “Beauty queens often trot out well-worn pledges to work for world peace, but the first Miss Tibet showed there may be some truth to the line when she was seen chatting to Miss China at a pageant on Tuesday.”

Talking to the New Straits Times of Malaysia, Dolma Tsering said she would take the opportunity at the pageant to promote Tibet.

“I will definitely tell the others about Tibet and our culture,” said Tsering, who was dressed in the colourful costume of the Kham tribe and adorned with a bead necklace and a hat.”

Over 30 contestants are participating in the Miss Tourism Intercontinental 2003 contest, which began on April 1, 2003. The final is scheduled for April 12, 2003. Organizers say the contest aims to enable the participants to share common values, to foster international friendship and goodwill, and to celebrate the stunning diversity of human culture.

The official website of Miss Tibet, www.misstibet.com, carried the photo of the two women.