Text by Sonam Dolma Sherpa
Last July, 19 beauties from different countries left no stone unturned to bag the tiara of the ‘Pageant of the World’, but at the end of the race, while beauties from China, Hong Kong, Kurdistan and Zimbabwe secured ‘final five’ positions, daughter of Nepal Junita Lama, throve on the challenge, conquered the race of the beauties and stood proud as ‘Woman of the World’.
A dialysis nurse by profession, Junita, who had no aim to win by a whisker and who donned the traditional outfit of Living Goddess of Nepal ‘Kumari’ during the finale, also earned the sash of ‘Best National Costume Award’, and did not only corroborate the belief that Nepalese women are best in terms of ‘beauty’ and ‘brains’, but also evinced that they are ‘special’ and ‘unique’.
How do you describe your entire journey in‘Pageant of the World 2016’?
‘Incredible’ and ‘Intense’. Getting involved in the drama directed by NIDA; participating in toastmaster sessions; working with many choreographers, dancers, hair and make-up artists and others, proffered great experiences to me. I befriended with many individuals and did deeds worthy of recollecting often. I am missing every bit of it now.
What or who motivated you to participate in the pageant?
‘Self-motivation’ I guess.One fine day, one of my sisters in Sydney sent a message to me via Facebook asking me if I was interested in participating in the pageant. Since I was wanting to participate in an international platform, I replied, “Yes”.
“I cannot be specific when it
comes to describe a Nepali woman.
To me, everything about a Nepali
woman is ‘special’ and ‘unique.
What does the win mean in your life?
It means a lot to me. At the times occupied by doubts, I had worked hard to win. Now, the victory has helped me realize my capacity and believe more in myself.
How easy or difficult was it for you to stand at equal stature against your competitors?
Believing something to be ‘easy’ or ‘difficult’ is entirely up to an individual’s perception. If an individual gets involved in any venture with an ‘I MUST WIN’ mind-set, s/he gathers more difficulties ahead of the quest. I never perceived this pageant as a competition with the strongest mindset to ‘win’, which I believe helped me to enjoy every phase and day of the pageant.
What do you think, what quality in you have helped you win the title?
As ‘Woman of the World’, what are your responsibilities now?
To do the best of how I can represent the organisation.
With the tiara of ‘Woman of the World’ on your head now, do you hold any specific and unique statement to describe a Nepali woman?
I cannot be specific when it comes to describing a Nepali woman. To me, everything about a Nepali woman is ‘special’ and ‘unique’. Regardless of where they come from, they are always ‘special’ and ‘balanced’.
What kinds of ventures are putting you in busy schedules?
Post the pageant, I have been attending meetings and events, doing photoshoots, and giving interviews. In leisure times, I am taking drives and trips to the places close to nature, water and the sun.
The world now know you as ‘Woman of the World’, please pinpoint some traits of your veiled personality.
I love adventures, so, you can call me an ‘adrenaline-junkie’. Besides, I am an introvert until someone gets to know me well.
According to you, what are the unique qualities of Nepalese culture and its ethnicity?
‘Diversity’ and ‘authenticity’.
Message to the readers of WAVE?
First of all, thank you very much for going through this interview, and thank you for your support and much love in social media. I have gone through each of the messages that have brought big smiles on my faces. Keep showering me with your love. Much more love from my side is coming back to you.
Junita had also bagged the position of ‘1st Runner-up’ in the Miss Nepal Australian Pageant 2014.