Manushi Chhillar from India was crowned the new Miss World on Saturday at a pageant event held in Sanya in South China’s Hainan Province, allowing India to pull even with Venezuela when it comes to having the highest number of winners in the pageant’s history.
Chhillar was crowned by Stephanie Del Valle, the Miss World 2016 champion, at the event, bringing the crown back to India 17 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.
Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, was among the first group of the country’s political leaders to congratulate Chhillar on Twitter.
“Congratulations @ManushiChhillar! India is proud of your accomplishment,” he posted on Saturday.
“Thank you, everyone, for your constant love, support, and prayers. This one’s for India,” Chhillar wrote on Twitter that same day.
Not just a pretty face
According to Chhillar’s profile on the event’s official site, the 20-year-old winner is a medical student currently studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine and Surgery.
“Chhillar studied at St. Thomas’ School in New Delhi, and is pursuing a medicine degree at the Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonipat,” the Hindustan Times reported on Sunday.
She also has ambitions to be a cardiac surgeon and would like to open a chain of non-profit hospitals in rural areas, wrote the event’s website.
The profile also describes the beauty queen as a trained classical dancer who enjoys painting. In addition, the young winner is also an outdoor sports lover who has a passion for paragliding, bungee jumping, snorkeling and scuba diving.
“Courage to give flight to your dreams and the ability to believe in yourself makes life worth living” is listed as one of Chhillar’s personal mottos.
The Miss World standard
Miss World is recognized as one of the three most publicized beauty contests in the world, together with Miss International and Miss Universe.
Established in 1951 in the UK, it is the longest-running international beauty pageant in the world.
According to the current score system, first used in 2011 and widely used by the judges around the world, contestants are judged over three rounds: the Preliminary, Semifinal and Final rounds. Each round has its own scoring system. Additionally, five special competitions are also held in which contestants can gain extra points during the Preliminary round.
In the first section of the Preliminary, every participant gets the chance to show off their personalities by chatting with the judges, who will assign them six to 10 points depending on how they performed.
During the second part of the Preliminary round, the scoring categories are sports, talent, beach beauty and top model.
Based on the two scores from this round, a select number of candidates (around 15) enter the Semifinal round. In this round, contestants are ranked by judges from one to 15. These results are then translated into points.
Nearly half of the candidates enter the Final round.
They are given final interview questions, which is their last chance to convince the judges that they are the Miss World the judges are looking for.
After being ranked again by all the judges, their scores are combined and the one who ranks first is crowned the latest Miss World.
According to the pageant’s website, during her reign Miss World travels around the world “in support of worthy causes.”
China’s Zhang Zilin, Miss World 2007, congratulated the new Miss World on Sina Weibo, “Manushi Chhillar, 20-year-old, is a student majoring in medicine. She was crowned the new Miss World from among 118 candidates. I am looking forward to seeing what she will do during her tenure.”
Opinions about Chhillar have differed among Chinese netizens.
Some praised her and Indian women in general for their beauty, “Of course they are beautiful! They were born from the water of the Ganges River, which ensures balanced nutrition and is good for their health,” wrote Chinese netizen Rengongjiangyu taijishi (Lit: artificial rainfall arrives in time).
“I admit, Indian women are pretty indeed,” said netizen Lilibanshangcao (grass grows quickly on the hill).
Others were rather picky. “Her mouth is too big,” posted netizen Tianyi Qiaofu (Woodcutter Tianyi).
Overall, netizens seemed to recognize that India represents stiff competition for Chinese contestants in the future.
“It is worth noting that India once won Miss World, Miss International and Miss Asia in the same year! It must have been a world record. It is true that Indian is a country full of beauties!” wrote netizen Antivirus I.
— Global Times
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The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily