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Miss Bhutan Beauty Pageant: Crowning Happiness

(Photo: MPC Bhutan Entertainment)
I was watching Miss Bhutan show last weekend. I tell you it is a good pastime. But our illiterate folks back at home would have enjoyed it more if they could understand what participants said on the screen. So much for the preservation of national language! But other than that the show was organized well. Kudos to the organizers!

Well, personally I don’t believe in quantifying beauty (if there is such a term) because one man’s food is another’s poison. Beauty as you well know is subjective- that’s why someone has rightly said beauty actually lies in the eyes of beholders. Something that appears beautiful to me may not necessarily appear thus to you. It is quite elusive. But I think beauty is what beauty does. I salute whoever said that and I can’t help agreeing.

Of almost 700,000 people in Bhutan, roughly 50% comprise of women. And it is sad to know that not many women turned up for the audition. Of course it is not the organizers' faults. Our women should willingly come forward and demonstrate their worth. This is a good platform for them to showcase their talents – the whole nation is watching them. I tell you once again, it is not about beauty alone. MPC’s Miss Bhutan Pageant slogan reads “beauty with a cause”. What is the single most important "cause" of this event?

There are only 18 girls (oops young women) participating in 2010 2nd Miss Bhutan Beauty Pageant. What is holding back our women? I am sure there are thousands out there aspiring to become Miss Bhutan.  Everyone cannot be Miss Bhutan, I agree. She has to be someone who can represent the nation abroad and be a role model at home. She represents a happy kingdom and thus humility should be in her genes. In Bhutan, humility is a decreasing trend especially when someone rises in fame; some forget their friends and relatives, intoxicated by fame.   
Now does that mean she has to be able to speak fluent English? I don’t think so. I believe if she can communicate well in Dzongkha, our national language, then she has one good quality to qualify her to be Miss Bhutan. And even if she feels comfortable in her native dialect, she should be given a chance.  Because right now, it seems, that only a person who can communicate well in English, people think is fit to be Miss Bhutan. This is wrong. This is how dreams of hundreds of women go to waste. We have seen many Miss World contestants (Miss China for instance) speaking with the help of translators. Why can’t we have translators? In Bhutan, if one speaks fluent English, and expresses oneself well in that language, our employers go wild and there is no second thought in hiring that person for a job. This is where the form (which is visible, audible –tangible) clashes with the content (invisible, inaudible and intangible). 

After all, Miss Bhutan is looked up to by young girls as their role models, someone they aspire to become in future. This is where we don’t want our girls to starve themselves so that they become slim and thin like Miss Bhutan. She is not someone who has dropped from heaven, so, some flaws are acceptable.

People say 2010 beauty pageant is better, in the way it is being organized although it is premature to say since it is only in the second week. There is always room for improvement and the show should get better and more exciting every time. And this is good news for our womenfolk.  But I think Miss Bhutan should be an annual event. We understand time and budget constraints, but it should be held once a year. This is a wonderful opportunity for people who talk of promoting gender equality to action on their words. This is where NGOs can sponsor the event because right now we don’t see them doing that. I may be wrong though, but the company’s website does not list any NGO sponsors.

The so-called grooming session is what every participant looks forward to. And rightly so! The pageant is not about crowing one woman as Miss Bhutan of a particular year, but it is an opportunity for our women to update themselves socially and culturally. The grooming session is a time for the contestants to really pick up necessary traits to be the perfect role model. 

It is heartening to see determined contestants. Everyone wants to give their best and make impression. This bodes well for our womenfolk. Similar enthusiasm should follow them in the political arena. With the local elections just a door step away, it would be nice to have women candidates competing for the post of local leaders.

Best wishes to all the participants and the organizer. May the best and the happiest be crowned! Three cheers for Bhutanese women.


  1. well thought penstar ........ i m with u

  2. its really encouragng. i wish every women in our country read ur article and good luck to all the contestants.

  3. I like this all miss bhutan
    i like sonam choden retty
    love you all miss of the bhutan

  4. u all r the role model 4 our country....


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