Dharamshala, a word used for place of peace or sanctuary, is actually a city of mourning and activism in North India. Director Lobsang Wangyal every year sets the town in motion with the Miss Tibet beauty pageant, an event that is more than a beauty pageant.
The Director says proudly that the pageant is more of a political act, a way to celebrate Tibet’s identity, culture and tradition. The best way to describe the event is the word marsala, used to describe a dish with all kind of spices. In the event, for example, those spices include politics, social, entertainment, education, culture and everything else.
From the inside, the event celebrates the beauty of the Tibetan woman. For the outsiders, it asserts Tibet as a nation, and Tibetans as people.
In 2012, the event celebrated its 10th anniversary. Journalists from all over the country, and from abroad come to visit, as the women represent not only Tibet, but the world of women.
The event includes much more than just the catwalk. The girls practice yoga, meditation, they learn about different cultures, tradition, and every morning the pressure is on the women to be on time for the scheduled program.
Lobsang Wangyal has his own view of the perfect Miss of Tibet, a woman who not only should be beautiful, but also strong, courageous and influential.