Miss Nepal 2010 was crowned to Sadichha Shrestha on the 1st of September and we have UK’s first ever Nepalese beauty pageant taking place on the 23rd October next month; it was only wise for us to grill down a former beauty Queen about her life after the big show. Today on Ek Chin, we have former Miss Nepal 2004 First Runner-Up Sarah Gurung Tetsuka. Apart from winning the hearts of many through the pageant Sarah has also been to China to represent our nation Nepal. Like many other beauty Queens she herself found a good foothold in Nepal’s media circuit. From stage shows, music videos to establishing herself as a model. Sarah did it all. However, there were bigger things in-store as she quickly got married to American-Japanese Sky Tetsuka in early 2007. From then on Sarah Tetsuka started a new chapter in her life in the USA which she discusses with us here today on lexlimbu.com
. The best thing I enjoy about Ek Chin’s are reading the stories of others, it means a lot more when I know that someone else is willing to share their story and let us possibly learn from their experiences. It was a pleasure for me to converse with the beauty Queen who only looks better each year out
. Enjoy your read and dont forget to leave a comment.
Firstly, how did competing in Miss Nepal change your life? Competing in Miss Nepal was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget. I believe it is a great platform to show all of the many faces and talents of Nepal, all bonded by love and pride in our country. I didn’t realize how much it would but winning a crown changed my life so much. It led to so many other opportunities and helped me earn fame and success as a model. I guess if there was a down side though, I did lose a lot of freedom and privacy. Nepal is a small country and word seems to travel around quickly. Becoming a public figure we get judged in every step of our life but apart from being Miss Nepal, we are just like everyone else, with mistakes and even bad hair days.
Miss Nepals recieve a lot of attention and recognition, Im sure you have experienced this too, however apart from recieving the crown and representing Nepal at the international pageant what are the other duties undertaken during the tenure?Apart from representing Nepal in China, I was selected as an ambassador for Dabur Vatika and given a 5 year contract to represent their products such as their shampoos and hair oils. I was also selected as an ambassador and became a lifetime member for the Cancer Relief Society and was able to help participate in fundraising, social events, and even visiting hospitals to meet and hang out with some of the patients.
Theres a growing trend in Nepal and especially within NRN communities abroad of marrying a Non-Nepali. What was the initial reaction from your family when you told them about Sky?I don’t think its a trend to marry a foreigner. I believe its up to destiny. In my case, I was really the shocked one because it was actually my family who introduced me to Sky (hubby). My mom was ok with him because more than a foreigner, she saw how much he loved and cared for me. Sky even asked my mom for her blessings before he spoke with me. She was very supportive because of his respect for our culture. Really, her main concern was that I was going to be so far from her.
Prior to that was there any internal family pressure for you to get married earlier on?Just like any other Nepali girl faces that kind of pressure, I did too. My family thought about arranging me with a few others when I was even younger but it obviously never happened. Even though some marriages are no longer arranged, it seems like we are still more pressured to marry at younger ages. Like I said earlier though, I believe its all written in our destiny and if it was mine to have my family introduce me to Sky, then I’m very happy with that.
To the readers who are facing pressure from their family what advice would you give?That’s a tough question. Marriage is such an important part of our life and every girl will have their own fantasies about it. The truth is that just like anything else, love can either grow or you can fall right into it. If you end up in the same place, I guess it doesn’t really matter as much what path you take. I’d say, to be strong in voicing your opinions and concerns but also be open minded and have faith in destiny and the knowledge that your family just wants the best for you.
Post-marriage you have been whisked away to the US and started a whole new chapter in your life, how has it been reestablishing yourself as Sarah Tetsuka?Coming to the US, life has changed a lot. After about a month or so, it hit me hard. I missed my old home and family so much. I missed my friends, my work and all the local foods. Even simple things like going up to my house terrace, the smell of the air, the hills, everything. I felt very lonely and would cry inside my heart everyday.
What kept me going was the love of my husband. Him and his family made it very easy. They love me so much and I honestly have the best father and mother in law that I could ever ask for.
My husband helped me find and get involved with lots of Nepalese communities here which makes me feel closer to home. I’m surprised when I go to these community programs, people still come up to me and want to take pics and have me sign autographs. I just say WOW because I really wasnt expecting this. Even though I do sometimes miss being involved with the media or being considered a celebrity, having family and friends that care about me is all I could ever ask for.
Culture wise, America is a crazy place! Its so diverse here and every one has their own culture and tradition or style. Although my husband was born here in America, his parents were born in Japan so he was raised more in that culture. Because of that, inside my home it wasn’t too difficult to adjust because Japanese and Nepali cultures have many similarities.
Do you see yourself returning to Nepal any time soon?Definitely. Especially after being able to return the last time and be a part of such an incredible medical trek, we really want to go back again soon. Right now, our plans are to go again next year. If we could, we would come to Nepal every 6 months, but maybe that’s something I’ll talk Sky into later! I really want to show my hubby where I grew up, went to school, go visit my grandma and so many other things. Actually, we are planning on rafting and going on a safari and the Chitwan elephant bath. My hubby says “NO WAY” for the bungee but I’m trying to convince him.
What are your thoughts on the first ever Nepali beauty pageant taking place in the UK next month, any advice to the contestants?Its really nice that someone thought about doing it (a nepali beauty pageant in the UK) and made it happen. I think its a great way to introduce more of the world how beautiful and rich our Nepali culture and people are. Plus, in a market like that, it could also really help all the particpants establish their names. Mostly, to all the ladies, show what you got and be proud of who you are…this is a one time opportunity so give your best and remember, a pageant isn’t just about winning the crown, but winning the crowd too. You’ve all already won just by being selected…all the best gals.
Lastly thank you for your time and Where can we find Sarah Tetsuka on a Friday night? No place better on a Friday night then somewhere in my hubby’s arms. Thanks very much Lex for giving me this opportunity to keep in touch.
Malvika Subba or Jharana Bajracharya
Japanese Food or Nepali Food
USA or Nepal
Gyanendra or Prachanda
And for those people who are too nosy
Baby Boy or Baby Girl 😉