Hunt on for first Miss Bhutan
These aspiring beauty queens idolise Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai and come September, one of them will be crowned the first Miss Bhutan at a pageant with no swim-suit round.
Being held for the first time, 77 contestants from across the country registered for Miss Bhutan 2008.
The preliminary round short listed for the main event 20 contestants who will undergo training and grooming sessions. The grand finale will be held in September.
Funded by Bhutanese filmmaker Karma Tshering under the banner of MPC Bhutan Entertainment, the pageant aims at providing young Bhutanese women the "same kind of opportunities as their counterparts in other parts of the world including education, travel and cross-cultural experiences.
"Since Miss Bhutan is a conservative pageant, proper attire for all segments is mandatory. There will be no swim-suit round and no vulgar attire will be permitted. The contestants must behave in a manner befitting the title of Miss Bhutan," Tshering said.
The winner of Miss Bhutan 2008 will be the country's only delegate at global pageants. She will be participating in Miss Earth pageant in Philippines, Miss Young International in Taiwan and Miss Safari 2008 in Kenya later this year.
Girls aged between 18 and 28 and dressed in colourful kiras (traditional dress) participated in the preliminary round earlier this month.
The contestants were judged on their physical beauty including height, figure and skin, communication skills, confidence, personality, intelligence and social awareness. Most of them said they idolise Sushmita and Aishwarya Rai but want to make an identity of their own.