RANGOON — Burmese beauty queen Khin Wint Wah, who is participating in the Miss Supranational 2013, an international beauty pageant being held in the eastern European country Belarus, has caught the attention of many Burmese Facebook users. The 19-year-old model gathered almost 50,000 likes on the social networking site since mid-August.
After arriving on Aug 17 in the capital Minsk, Khin Wint has been taking part in promotional activities and rehearsals for the event, along with models from 98 countries. The finale will take place on September 6 and the winner will walk away with US$30,000 in prize money.
Photos of competition rehearsals placed on showing Khin Wint Wah’s Facebook page on August 18 have since garnered the interest of Burma’s growing number of Facebook users. By Friday morning, the photos had gathered nearly 48,000 likes.
Khin Wint Wah, who studies botany in Rangoon, was selected to represent Burma after winning a domestic beauty competition for Miss Supranational 2013 pageant program in August. She told the organizers’ website that she was delighted that she could join the competition.
“I was very excited, because I had never traveled overseas before… My country is very beautiful, but so is Belarus,” Khin Wint Wah was quoted as saying. “There are so many people … who are supporting me. It makes me feel happy and confident. I want them to know that I am doing my very best to take this crown back to my country, and that I love them very much.”
Asked about the ongoing reforms taking place in Burma, Khin Wint Wah said, “Now it is more open, so you are all welcome to visit my beautiful and colorful country.”
Started in 2009, the Miss Supranational pageant is organized by the Panama-based World Beauty Association. Last year’s event was held in Poland, but this year the World Beauty Association chose Belarus — often referred to as Europe’s last dictatorship as it’s been ruled by President Alexander Lukashenko for almost 20 years — as the location for its beauty pageant.
A World Beauty Association spokesperson said on the organization’s website that event would help with “promoting Belarus to the world.”