Miss Tibet

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Miss Tibet is an annual beauty pageant held in McLeod Ganj, India.[1] It is produced by Lobsang Wangyal Productions.


The first-ever Miss Tibet Pageant was produced by Lobsang Wangyal in October 2002. The pageant was criticized as "aping western culture" and "un-Tibetan". The pageant has continued yearly since then.

In 2017 director Lobsang Wangyal announced that he would not continue organising the Pageant, and it could be sold to someone who would carry on its ideals.[2]

In 2002, four Tibetan girls participated in the competition. Four editions of the Pageant's 15-year history — 2003, 2005, 2013, and 2014 — had only one participant. In 2006, the swimsuit competition was opened to the public.

The Miss Tibet Pageant 2012 was cancelled in response to increased tensions in Tibet and in support of the protests there.[3][4]

The Dalai Lama considers the pageant unimportant, but it is still held due to popular demand.[5]

Many winners and one contestant have participated in international pageants.

Miss Tibet 2019[edit]

There is no Miss Tibet Pageant for 2019, as there were no applicants. [6]

Miss Tibet 2018[edit]

The Miss Tibet Pageant 2018 was held in New York City, US, with one contestant, Tenzin Yonten, who was declared the Miss Tibet 2018. [7] [8]

Miss Tibet 2017[edit]

Tenzin Paldon from Karnataka, India, was crowned Miss Tibet 2017[9] at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in McLeod Ganj, India, on 4 June 2017. She received Rs one lakh (100,000) (US$2,200). Tenzin Khechoe was judged the first runner-up, receiving Rs 50,000. Tenzin Nordron was chosen as the second runner-up and was given a cheque of Rs 25,000. The winner and the First Runner-up also won a two-week trip to Vietnam, sponsored by Claire Huynh Hong Hai. The three judges for the event were Ms Tanshuman Gurung, Mr Abhishek Madhukar, and Ms Anshdeep Kaur. Chemi Kyizom also participated in Miss Tibet 2017 [10]

At the finale of the event, director Lobsang Wangyal announced his intention to withdraw from organising the pageant, and sell it to someone who would carry it on with the same objectives.[2]

List of Contestants[edit]

See Full 2017 contestant information

Miss Tibet 2016[edit]

Tenzing Sangnyi was selected as Miss Tibet 2016. She received a cash prize of Rs one lakh (100,000), donated by sponsor Jangchup Nyendak. First runner-up Tenzin Dawa from New York won Rs 50,000, and second runner-up Tenzing Dickey from Bylakuppe received Rs 25,000.

Tenzing Dickey also won the Miss Photogenic vote this year.

List of Contestants[edit]

Full 2016 contestant information

Miss Tibet 2015[edit]

Pema Choedon from Dehra Dun was crowned Miss Tibet 2015 at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in McLeod Ganj, India, on 7 June 2015. She received one lakh (100,000.00) Indian rupees (equivalent to US$2,200).

Lobsang Kyizom, 22 years old, was judged the first runner-up. She received Rs 50,000.00. Tsering Dolma, 24, was chosen as the second runner-up. She was given a cheque of Rs 25,000.00.

The Pageant was kept low-key and held only one day to express solidarity with victims of the earthquake in Nepal.

List of Contestants[edit]

Name Age Education Hometown
Lobsang Kyizom 22 Journalism Kathmandu, Nepal
Pema Choedon 24 Master's degree from JNU Dehra Dun, India
Tsering Dolma 24 Degree in Nursing Pokhara, Nepal

Full contestant information

Miss Tibet 2014[edit]

Tenzin Yangzom from Sikkim was selected unopposed as the titleholder of Miss Tibet 2014. She is multi-lingual and likes dancing, basketball, singing, painting and photography. Out of 8 applications received 5 were confirmed, but 4 withdrew at the last minute citing personal reasons.[11]

Miss Tibet 2013[edit]

A coronation ceremony of the Miss Tibet 2013 was held in Bangalore as Tenzing Lhamo from Madison, US, was the only one to come to participate in the pageant. She donated the prize money of Rs 100,000 for Tibetan activism. The pageant was originally planned to be held in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, the largest Tibetan settlement in India.[12]

Miss Tibet 2012[edit]

The Miss Tibet Pageant 2012 was cancelled in response to increased tensions in Tibet and in support of the protests there.[3][4] The Pageant was to be held in Dharamshala, India, from 8 to 10 June 2012.[13]

Miss Tibet 2011[edit]

Miss Tibet Pageant 2011 was the 10th edition of the annual event. The pageant was held in Dharamshala from 3 to 5 June.[14] Tenzin Yangkyi was selected by the judges as Miss Tibet 2011. She represented Tibet in the Miss Asia Pacific World 2011 beauty pageant.

Controversy/Accusations of fraud[edit]

On 5 June 2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Foreign Correspondent program aired a report which had followed contestants preparing for and undertaking the Miss Tibet 2011 contest. The report outlined the contestant's understanding of how they would be judged – a judging panel of non-Tibetans would be marking the contestants presentations. At the end of the program controversy erupted when the winner was announced.[15]

One contestant remarked that she thought Tenzin Khecheo would have won. Another stated "I think Lobsang Wangyul cheated – he's a fraud." The pageant organiser, Lobsang Wangyal, was confronted by the contestants who wanted to know how the judging had been processed. At first Lobsang Wangyal claimed the marking sheets had been stolen. "I don't have the judges' sheet. It was stolen ... on the night. ... It's not in the file. The file is empty. ... When I went onstage somebody stole it. I too was surprised." The contestants then pressed Lobsang Wangyal further, at which point he admitted the non-Tibetan judge's markings only affected 25% of the overall evaluation – that he himself controlled the remaining 75% of the marking, and as such, had effectively decided by himself which contestant had won. The confrontation then ended with the contestants walking out and stating to Lobsang Wangyal "You are a fraud." To which Lobsang Wangyal responded "Yeah ... yeah I am."

Lobsang Wangyal then made a follow-up statement to the camera saying "Miss Tibet should be someone who should be calm and, you know ... listen and ... be respectful and see ... if this is how Miss Tibetan will be ... oh my god ... no way."

The report then finished with a comment from Ngodop Dolma: "When I look back into Miss Tibet what I've come to realise is that Lobsang's Miss Tibet does not empower Tibetan women but it does the opposite. It actually disempowers Tibetan women. So, I believe the only way it could have any values is if it were run by a woman."

Director Lobsang Wangyal's response[edit]

Lobsang Wangyal responded a few months after the report was made through a posting on misstibet.com in which he says that Mr Gould's recruited contestant Ngodup Dolma made the accusation only after she was unsuccessful in the contest. In his statement Lobsang accepted that the folder containing the mark sheets of the finale night had been stolen after the coronation, and suggested that Mr Gould or an accomplice was involved.

List of Contestants[edit]

Name Age Education Hometown
Chemi Lhazom 25 MBA Delhi, India
Dolma Tsering 25 Bachelor of Computer Science Bangalore, India
Ngodup Dolma 25 Bachelor of Nursing Australia
Tenzin Khecheo 20 In college Minnesota, United States
Tenzin Sangmo 25 Bachelor of Commerce Dharamshala, India
Tenzin Yangkyi 17 Class X Zurich, Switzerland

Full contestant information

Miss Tibet 2010[edit]

Tenzin Norzom from Varanasi, holder of a Shastri degree (equivalent to Bachelor of Arts in Buddhist Philosophy), was crowned Miss Tibet 2010 at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in McLeod Ganj, India, on 6 June 2010. She received one lakh (100,000.00) Indian rupees (equivalent to US$2,200). After the crowning, Norzom said she would use the title to promote the Tibetan cause.

Yangchen Metok, a 19-year-old girl who had escaped to India in 2008, was judged the first runner-up. She received Rs 50,000.00. Rinchen Choden, a 25-year-old hair stylist from Bangalore, was chosen as the second runner-up. She was given a cheque of Rs 25,000.00. The fourth place Tenzin Namchoe from Golok, Tibet, was given a token prize of Rs 10,000.

Considering the Kyigudo earthquake in eastern Tibet in April, the pageant was kept low-profile. No firecrackers were set off, but instead a short prayer session was held at the opening of the show. Lobsang Wangyal, the director and the producer of the event, gave Rs.10,000 in donation to the victims of the earthquake.

Kingfisher, a leading Indian brand, sponsored the pageant.

List of Contestants[edit]

Name Age Education Hometown
Rinchen Choden 25 Bachelor of Commerce Tawang, India
Tenzin Namchoe 22 Bachelor of Social Work Lhasa, China
Tenzin Norzom 24 Shastri degree (= Bachelor of Arts) Hunsur, India
Yangchen Metok 19 Class VIII Golok, China

Miss Tibet 2009[edit]

Tenzin Choezom, Miss Tibet 2009

Miss Tibet 2009 was held from 16–18 June 2009. The finale was held on 7 June at Tipa. The four participants arrived in McLeod Ganj on 28 May. A week's training was given from 29 May, until 4 June. The first round — the swim suit round — of the Miss Tibet pageant 2009 was held on 5 June. Two more rounds — talk and talent rounds — was held on 6 June. The remaining four rounds — introduction, evening gown, traditional costume and interview rounds — were held on 7 June at Tipa.

Thousands in the audience witnessed the crowning of Tenzin Choezom as the new Miss Tibet. Dr BK Modi, the Chairman of the Spice Corp, crowned the winner. He also presented a scholarship cheque of one lakh rupees (Rs 100,000) to Choezom. Ngawang Choying was picked the first runner-up and Dolkar the second runner-up by a four-member jury. Ngawang and Dolkar received scholarship cheques of Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively. Yeshi was presented a consolation prize of Rs 5,000.

List of Contestants[edit]

Name Age Education Hometown
Dolkar 24 Graduate Dehra Dun, India
Ngawang Choying 18 School Darjeeling, India
Tenzin Choezom 20 College Dharamshala, India
Yeshi Lhamo 24 Diploma in nursing Delhi, India

Miss Tibet 2008[edit]

Miss Tibet Pageant 2008 was held on Sunday 12 October 2008 at The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), Dharamshala, India. Two young women competed for the crown — Sonam Choedon, who came from Tibet to India in June 2008, and Jamyang Chentso, born in India[16] Sonam Choedon won the title.[17]

Sonam Choedon is a student. She is currently learning languages: English and Hindi. She is fluent in Tibetan and Chinese.

List of Contestants[edit]

Name Age Education Hometown
Jamyang Chentso 22 High School Kham, China
Sonam Choedon 18 High School Darjeeling, India

Miss Tibet 2007[edit]

Miss Tibet Pageant 2007 was held from 12 to 14 October 2007 in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, India. Five young Tibetan women took part in the pageant. Tenzin Dolma from McLeod Ganj was crowned Miss Tibet 2007. She received a scholarship cheque of Rs 100,000 (US$2,500). She represented Tibet in the Miss Earth 2007 pageant in the Philippines in November 2007.

Tsering Yangzom from Kollegal Tibetan settlement, south India, was the First runner-up. She received Rs 50,000 in scholarship. She was also the "Miss Photogenic", receiving 1170 of the 3156 votes cast online at misstibet.com.

Deeki Dolma from Gangtok, Sikkim, was declared the Second runner-up. She received Rs 25,000.

List of Contestants[edit]

Name Age Education Hometown
Deeki Dolma 20 College Sikkim, India
Tenzin Dolma 21 College Dharamshala, India
Tenzin Pema 19 B.A. Dehra Dun, India
Tenzing Dolma 25 MBA Sikkim, India
Tsering Yangzom 20 College Karnataka, India

Summary of Winners[edit]

Year Winner 1st Runner Up 2nd Runner Up Winner origin Remark
2015 Pema Choedon Lobsang Kyizom Tsering Dolma Dehra Dun, India The glamour parts of the event, with no fire crackers as well as no new suit for the Director, were left out to express solidarity with the Nepal earthquake victims. History 2015
2014 Tenzin Yangzom n/a n/a Gangtok, Sikkim There were four contestants, but only one arrived for the Pageant. History 2014
2013 Tenzing Lhamo n/a n/a Madison, US Only one contestant this year. The event took place in Bangalore, India. History 2013
2012 n/a n/a n/a n/a Cancelled to stand in solidarity with all the Tibetans in Tibet and honour those who have died. History 2012
2011 Tenzin Yangkyi Ngodup Dolma Dolma Tsering Zurich, Switzerland Tenzin Yangkyi is a high school student in Zurich, Switzerland. She intends to become a professional model. History 2011
2010 Tenzin Norzom Yangchen Metok Rinchen Choden Varanasi, India Tenzin Norzom holds a Shastri Degree. She was born in Hunsur Tibetan settlement in South India. History 2010
2009 Tenzin Choezom Ngawang Choying Dolkar Dharamshala, India Tenzin Choezom is from Suja, near Bir in Himachal Pradesh. She has completed class XII, and is now doing a computer course. History 2009
2008 Sonam Choedon Jamyang Chentso n/a Kham, Tibet In 2008, there were only two contestants, and hence there was no 2nd runner-up. Sonam Choedon didn't compete in any international pageant. Sonam Choedon is in Bylakuppe in South India, studying English and Buddhist philosophy. History 2008
2007 Tenzin Dolma Tsering Yangzom Deeki Dolma Dharamshala, India Miss Earth Pageant 2007, The Philippines [18] History 2007
2006 Tsering Chungtak Wangchuk Palmo Tseten Yangzom Shillong, India Miss Earth Pageant 2006, The Philippines [19]

Miss Tourism Pageant 2007, Malaysia [20] History 2006

"The 31-year old former Miss Tibet was pursuing her PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) but had to leave her studies in between owing to her poor health." She died 21 July 2016.[21]

2005 Tenzin Nyima n/a n/a Bylakuppe, India The 2005 Pageant had only one contestant. History 2005
2004 Tashi Yangchen Gangtok, Sikkim Expelled: Miss Tourism World Pageant Zimbabwe, due to pressure from China [22] History 2004
2003 Tsering Kyi n/a n/a Amdo, Tibet The 2005 Pageant had only one contestant.
Tsering Kyi met Prince Charles in New Delhi India, October 2003 [23] History 2003
2002 Dolma Tsering n/a n/a Minyak, Tibet Participant: Miss Tourism Intercontinental Pageant 2003, Malaysia [24]

Winner: Best National Costume, Queen of Tourism International 2003, Mexico [25] History 2002

Participation in International Pageants[edit]

Many winners and one contestant have participated in international pageants. [26]

The first Miss Tibet, in 2002, Dolma Tsering, has competed in two international pageants. She also won the Miss Goodwill subsidiary title from the pageant in Malaysia and the Best National Costume from another pageant in Mexico.

Name Pageant Country Year Remarks
Tenzing Yonten
Miss Tibet 2018
Miss Global Philippines 2018
Tenzin Paldon
Miss Tibet 2017
Miss Global Cambodia 2017
Tenzing Sangnyi
Miss Tibet 2016
Miss Global Philippines 2016
Pema Choedon
Miss Tibet 2015
Miss Global Philippines 2015
Tenzin Yangkyi
Miss Tibet 2011
Miss Asia Pacific South Korea 2011 Wore a "Swiss Tibet" sash after interference from China government.
Tenzin Dolma
Miss Tibet 2007
Miss Earth Philippines 2007 Refused pressure from China to wear "Tibet-China" sash, and was allowed by organisers to go ahead with the "Miss Tibet" sash.
Tsering Chungtak
Miss Tibet 2006
Miss Tourism Malaysia 2007 Withdrew under pressure from China
Tsering Chungtak Miss Tibet 2006 Miss Earth Philippines 2006
Tashi Yangchen
Miss Tibet 2004
Miss Tourism World Zimbabwe 2005 Withdrew under pressure from China
Tenzin Diki
Contestant 2002
Miss Tourism World Venezuela 2003
Dolma Tsering
Miss Tibet 2002
Queen of Tourism International Mexico 2003 Best National Costume Award
Dolma Tsering
Miss Tibet 2002
Miss Tourism Intercontinental Malaysia 2003 Miss Goodwill Award

Full international pageant information

Interference from Chinese government[edit]

The Chinese government has tried to interfere, pressuring international directors to name Miss Tibet as "Miss Tibet-China". Two Miss Tibets had to withdraw from international pageants — Zimbabwe[27] and Malaysia[28] — after they were asked to wear sashes with this title, and refused.

Miss Tibet 2007 Tenzin Dolma was asked to wear such a sash in the Philippines at the last minute, but she refused, and was allowed to go ahead with the "Miss Tibet" sash.

Miss Tibet 2006 Tsering Chungtak withdrew from the Miss Tourism Pageant in Malaysia after Chinese government representatives pressured the organiser to enter her as "Miss Tibet-China" in November 2007.

Miss Tibet 2004 Tashi Yangchen had to withdraw from a pageant in Zimbabwe after the Chinese embassy in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, in a similar case of Chinese interference, asked her to wear a "Miss Tibet-China" sash in February 2005.

In October 2011, Tenzin Yangkyi, Miss Tibet 2011, was sent to the Miss Asia Pacific World 2011 beauty pageant, held in Daegu, Seoul, and Busan in South Korea.[29] During the pageant, Yangkyi received pressure from the Chinese government to wear a sash saying "Tibet-China", but she refused. Instead, she decided to change the sash name to "Swiss Tibet", as she is a Swiss citizen.[30]


  1. ^ "MissTibet.com". Lobsang Wangyal Productions. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b Thakur, Naresh K. (5 June 2017). "Karnataka's Tenzin Paldon wins Miss Tibet 2017 title". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Miss Tibet Pageant suspended". Tibetan Women's Association. 5 May 2012. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Miss Tibet Pageant Cancelled". Deccan Herald. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  5. ^ His Holiness Dalai Lama — Comments on Miss Tibet 2006
  6. ^ Miss Tibet (20 May 2019). "Regretfully informing no Miss Tibet Pageant 2019". Miss Tibet. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Why 'Miss Tibet' is moving from Mcleodganj to New York". DailyBite. Daily O. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Miss Tibet 2018 To Be Held In New York, US". Tibetan Journal. 2 January 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Tenzin Paldon crowned Miss Tibet 2017". Tibet Sun. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Miss Tibet Contestant 2017 - Chemi Kyizom". www.misstibet.com. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Tenzin Yangzom of Sikkim wins Miss Tibet 2014 Beauty Pageant". biharprabha.com. IANS. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  12. ^ Naresh K Thakur (24 November 2012). "Miss Tibet pageant to shift out of Dharamshala". HindustanTimes.com. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  13. ^ Lobsang Wangyal (2 May 2012). "Miss Tibet 2012". MissTibet.com. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  14. ^ MissTibet.com history page
  15. ^ Gould, Mark (Producer). Foreign Correspondent "Miss Tibet", [television broadcast]. Australia, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).
  16. ^ Miss Tibet 2008 contestants | misstibet.com
  17. ^ Sonam Choedon is Miss Tibet 2008 | misstibet.com
  18. ^ Tenzin Dolma participates in Miss Earth pageant | misstibet.com
  19. ^ Miss Tibet participates in Miss Earth | misstibet.com
  20. ^ Tsering Chungtak in Malaysia | misstibet.com
  21. ^ "Former Miss Tibet Tsering Chungtak passes away". Phayul.com. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  22. ^ Home away from Home in Zimbabwe
  23. ^ Prince Charles meets Miss Tibet | misstibet.com
  24. ^ Miss Tibet meets Miss China in Malaysia | misstibet.com
  25. ^ Miss Tibet won Best National Costume in Mexico | misstibet.com
  26. ^ Miss Tibet (20 May 2019). "International Pageants". Miss Tibet. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  27. ^ Tibetan beauty banned from pageant in Zim
  28. ^ Miss Tibet slams China over expulsion from pageant Archived 16 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Tenzin Yangkyi in Korea
  30. ^ Tenzin Yangkyi fanpage

External links and references[edit]