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Love it or hate it but beauty pageants seem to follow the Nepalese community wherever they go. The pageant culture is very much thriving especially in the global south – a lot of studies have been done regarding why beauty pageants are so big in countries in South East Asia and Latin America! We also had to briefly study about it during my undergraduate program. Interesting topic!

The Nepalese diaspora in the USA recently held the first ever Miss Nepal California. The event which doubled up as a fundraiser for the Nepal earthquake was held last week on the 4th of July. Taking home the first ever title as the Miss Nepal California was Anusha Karki followed by Sushma Pant as the first runner-up and Anisha Oli as the second runner-up. The six ladies who competed for the coveted crown was trained by Miss Nepal 2011 Malina Joshi. Joshi spoke about her involvement as a trainer and choreographer at Miss Nepal California enthusiastically, adding that the contestants were “awesome, smart and pulled it off very well”.

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Miss Nepal California Anusha Karki will now be the ambassador for the earthquake relief efforts in Nepal for the event company and receive a two-way ticket to Nepal for her mission in Nepal. I hope she gets to fulfill that wonderful opportunity to participate, see more of Nepal, learn, share and bring it all back for other Nepalese youngsters like her in California and in the states overall. A lot of beauty queens who win such titles outside of Nepal lack a huge platform and opportunities so this opportunity to be the ambassador and get involved is a great initiative.

The event had a list of starry names including Nima Rumba, Astha B, Nalina Chitrakar, Deepesh K. Bhattarai, Hemant Rana and Miss Nepal US 1st Runner Up Tia Bista.

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Before I wrap up this post – I had three questions for Malina – read it below.

Having judged/worked with beauty pageants outside of Nepal, what do you think are some of the strengths and weaknesses of Nepalese beauty pageants overseas?

MALINA JOSHI – Every organizer is different, so each pageant brings a different experience. Few organizers may take pageants not very seriously… like they think it’s easy which it is not. May be because of the lack of experience in this sector… Lots and lots of discussions, few fights but I believe it happens everywhere. In the end the event should be good. Luckily, both the events went awesome more than we expected. Organizers happy, me, more than happy!

Any message to aspiring beauty queens out there?

MALINA JOSHI – I see lot of potentials but the sad part is they themselves don’t see it. They don’t participate because of the fear of losing. I want to make a humble request to everyone that they should come, participate and experience this beautiful journey of beauty pageant. It’s not just about beauty but about discipline, strength, confidence, personality, personal growth as an individual or a woman. I feel blessed and all thanks to Miss Nepal pageant.

When will you be making your return to Nepal?

MALINA JOSHI – Few events are to be done and dated to be finalized. So may be 2-3 weeks.

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