“Children of War”
Ariska’s Special Project for Peace Accompanied by Humanity Gap
As a reminder, Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand International 2016 also worked together with a singer and a musician Dalton Tjia, and Bahman Saffar as the Bahman Music producer, and Sofyan Kwan (the designer), Paper Plane Production for the world peace project of Humanity Gap Indonesian Music Band.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much and we believe in strong circle of friendship”, according to this concept, they were so grateful for having Humanity Gap (a music band for peace in Indonesia) , for their experience in making music, humanity and world peace activism. Together, they had accompanied our Ariska Putri Pertiwi , Miss Grand International 2016 (Miss Grand Indonesia 2016 at that time) for her preparation before taking the journey to Miss Grand International 2016 Beauty Pageant in Las Vegas, which would bring World Peace Messages from Indonesia to the World.
The gorgeous titleholder of the Miss Grand International 2016 pageant, the Indonesian beauty Ariska Putri Pertiwi, was featured in the video song in collaboration with DT Blacksmith as a tribute to the children affected by war around the world. The beauty wants to spread the message of peace and love throughout the world with her video... The song by Bahman Safar and sung by Dalton Tjia, throws a light on the heart wrenching reality of how wars between adults, groups, or countries, affect innocent children worldwide. The video features the reigning queen of Miss Grand International beauty pageant, the beautiful Ariska Putri reaching out to kids in a war-affected area and holding their hands as they walk out of the place, in an attempt to bringing the blameless kids back to hope and happiness.
One of the reasons they had run this project was that Medan, Ariska’s hometown, is one of several cities in Indonesia that UNHCR-Indonesia’s main office is located in. According to UNHCR, it has been working in Indonesia since 1979 and has its main office in Jakarta and a presence in Medan, Tanjung Pinang, Surabaya, Makassar, Kupang and Pontianak. The number of asylum seekers arrival to Indonesia per year as registered by UNHCR are as follows : 385 in 2008; 3,230 in 2009; 3,905 in 2010; 4,052 in 2011, 7,223 in 2012, 8,332 in 2013; 5,659 in 2014 and 4,426 in 2015. Today the majority of the new arrivals were from Afghanistan, Myanmar and Somalia.
Despite being in the midst of men, Ariska Putri Pertiwi who was 21 years old at that time was still able to carry herself as a smart woman, great and inspiring. Nowadays, the world needs more women like this that could determine the attitude and able to compete in the middle of the diversity of people.
Finally, the 2016 Miss Grand International Beauty Pageant ended up with the winning of Indonesia that is the first time ever Indonesia has won a major international beauty pageant. Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand International 2016 is the beauty queen who hopes to spread the message of Love and Peace throughout the world with her noble deeds.
The Beauty Queen who was Raised in a Military Camp (Part III)
The Exclusive Interview with Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand International 2016
According to the former part of the interview, we focused on Ariska’s perspectives on differences and similarities between joining beauty pageant and studying in medical faculty and also her special activities on social work with the social work foundation while studying in the university to prepare herself for the future beauty queen’s charitable tasks! In addition, she revealed her most influential persons or role models, and finally, she unveiled her special interests, talents, and hobbies! Let’s continue her story in this final part of this exclusive interview which all of the contents will lead you back to Las Vegas, USA, the 2016 Miss Grand International Beauty Pageant!
Q: Almost a month you joined Miss Grand International 2016 in Las Vegas with almost 80 beauties around the world, can you share those moments with us?
A: Yes, I think it’s such an exciting moment because this is my first time to join the international beauty pageant and I met, maybe, 80 or more than 80 contestants from all around the world and all the girls are very beautiful and very smart and confident. And although we have different languages and cultures, we could share them together and then we learned and loved each other. I think it’s a really exciting moment when I joined this competition, you know? It’s like something new in my life.
Q: Did you have in your mind that who was your most favorite to win the competition, except you?
A: Now? OK. Uh… ok (Laughing so loudly) Oh my God! Do I have to tell you this? Ok one or two?
Q: One or two is fine. Which contestant did you think she was going to win?
A: The first is Miss Grand Cuba! And the other is Miss Grand Puerto Rico.
Q: Great! Cuba and Puerto Rico, Why?
A: Cuba is very smart and confident and I don’t know! But I think she could become the winner as same as Puerto Rico.
Q: Are their looks quite different, right? Cuba has got a model look which is different from Puerto Rico.
A: Yes, Cuba has a model look and Puerto Rico has a beauty queen look, she looks like a princess.
Q: In your opinion, how was it different between preliminary competition and final show?
A: I think, they are different in terms of the shows and sequences. In preliminary competition, there were only swimsuit and evening gown rounds, but for the grand final we had opening dance, swimsuit round for Top 20 semi-finalists, evening gown in Top 10 finalists, delivering speech on stop the war campaign, and then Top 5 final question. So, they’re very different between preliminary and final show.
Q: But I’m sure that all the girls did their best for both rounds.
A: Yes! Finally, it’s already finished!
Q: Ariska, when we just look back to the competition or during the competition, what would you like to change about yourself?
A: No! Because I think I really did my best for this competition so I wouldn’t change anything. Ok. I had to fight and then I fought for my dream in Las Vegas and I think I already gave my best for that. Then, there was nothing to change at all. Really confident? (Laughing)
Q: Of course! It is because all girls have to be confident in any rounds not only on the stage but also during the activities or even the interview! Ah… let’s talk about the personal interview before the preliminary show. That sounds fun! Can you share with us about it?
A: Yes, we had the In-depth Interview before the preliminary and I had it with Miss Grand India.
Q: Oh, was it not the one-on-one interview?
A: No, it’s a group interview.
Q: So, what was going on during the interview?
A: Indonesia and India, 2 of us took the interview and sat together and then answered the same questions, I think Miss Grand India is very smart.
Q: Who started answering?
A: India, because it was conducted in alphabetical order, India before Indonesia.
Q: How did you feel during the interview?
A: It’s very hard because two of us had to answer the same questions, so…
Q: Did you take turn to start answering or was Miss Grand India always the one who started?
A: Uh… No, Miss Grand India always started to answer the questions first.
Q: So, you had some more time to think about the answers while Miss Grand India was answering the questions.
A: But you know? It is very hard because she already answered one thing and then I must think of different things. I always had to change when I thought of the same answers as hers, but it’s ok.
Q: You visited many places in Las Vegas during the MGI pageant, which place is your most favorite?
A: It might be Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon is the most favorite, but I also like Red Rock Canyon and we had a private party on the second day in Las Vegas arranged by a Thai Association.
Q: Yeah! I saw the video clip! Such a great fun you had! All girls danced very enjoyably!
A: Yes! We danced together, it’s very fun and they provided us a Thai style banquet! All were Thai recipes. Of course, I enjoyed eating Phad Thai! Every lunch we had Phad Thai. It’s like one of Indonesian foods, it’s called Kway Teow, or fried noodle.
Q: Yes, in Thailand we have Kway Teow, too, but Kway Teow noodle has a bigger size than Phad Thai noodle, I do hope all the girls enjoyed sharing the moment together in Las Vegas.
A: Yes we did. We had lots of fun together.
Q: At the beginning of this New Year, would you have any plans to do as reigning Miss Grand International 2016?
A: Yes, of course. Because you know? Miss Grand International Organization has the mission and campaign to stop the war and violence. So I need to join them, with Miss Grand International organization to help people like visiting the people in different countries or at refugee camps who are suffered from war and give them support or will power, especially for children. It may not be the big help; we just give them some spirit or foods something like that and then share together with them and make them feel better.
Q: Cultivating voluntary spirit is very needed in our society nowadays. The people who are living in a refugee camp are lonely and hopeless. They lost their hopes and dreams, so you can be the one who fulfills them, just a little voice or smile to make them feel happier. It might be just a short moment, but it is big for them.
A: Yeah, it may not be the big thing, just only a little thing, but I think it’s very important and meaningful for them.
Q: Not only visiting the refugee camp, but you also have a chance to do charities with some social work and social welfare organizations. Right now, we are planning the schedule for you. Now, I think all the fans have known you a lot more from this interview since the night you were crowned Miss Grand International 2016, would you like to say something to them before we finish the interview?
A: Yes, of course, I’d like to say THANK YOU for my fans especially for my family and friends and then for Puteri Indonesia Organization and Miss Grand International Organization of course! Thank you so much for always supporting me and giving me some spirits and some advice --- like you must do like this or like that. Everything is very meaningful for me, hopefully during my one year reigning Miss Grand International, I can do my best for my country, especially for my Miss Grand International Organization and also thank you for Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil, the President and thank you for my MGI staff team now that always take good care of me and always do the best for me, so I am so happy! Thank you so much for everything.
Q: We also thank you for being our lovely queen Ariska and we hope to work with you exceedingly well during 1 year of your reign.
A: I hope I have to learn many things about the organization and learn many more about Thailand.
Q: Thank you so much Ariska for your time with our interview today, we’ve known about you in many aspects and hope the fans will like it, too. And wish you all the best for every path of your life.
A: Thank you so much for this fun interview and I really enjoy it.
Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand International 2016
at The Artist Spring Festival 9th Annual 2017 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand International 2016 visited Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from 18 to 19 January 2017 to attend the Artist Spring Festival 9th Annual 2017, a celebration held to welcome the New Year and the coming of spring in Vietnam. This festival has already been organized for nine consecutive years with the gathering of Vietnamese famous artists, celebrities, singers, actors and actresses walking the red carpet at this special event. For this Vietnam trip, Ariska was not only honored to participate as one of the special guests in the Artist Spring Festival 2017 but she also visited the Lasta Multimedia Company, the event organizer, a leading management and media company which broadcasts and telecasts the programs of Let's Viet TV channel of Vietnam. Moreover, Ariska gave the interview with Vietnamese media that she was very excited to visit Vietnam for the first time of her life and people here are pretty friendly and there are ancient cultures and distinctive architecture and most importantly, Vietnamese food is so delicious! On this occasion, she promoted the 2017 Miss Grand International beauty pageant which Vietnam will host in October, as well as persuading the Vietnamese people to support the representatives from more than 80 countries worldwide who will compete in the 2017 Miss Grand International here.
On Day 2 of her trip, Ariska had the opportunity to visit local orphan and underprivileged children at “SOS Children's Village”, Tu Du Hospital where more than 60 children whose age ranges are from 1 year to 26 years living together in this place. Ariska donated some needed supplies and snacks to the children including giving warmness and love as well as greeting and talking to them in a friendly manner. Then, she visited some tourist attractions with historical and magnificent architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, including Saigon Central Post Office, one of the most recognizable landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City. The Post Office is one of the better-preserved examples of the colonial period’s architecture finished in 1891, based on designs created by a famous French architect, Gustav Eiffel and it is renowned as one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Vietnam. Furthermore, she visited The Notre Dame Cathedral where is located within walking distance from the Saigon Central Post Office and the shopping center Diamond Plaza. The famous central Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1863 and 1880 by French colonists, is one of Ho Chi Minh City's architectural marvels. Erected exclusively with materials imported from France, it is one of the most popular things to see in Ho Chi Minh City for tourists. The official name of the church is “Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception”.
Then, the last place to visit for this trip was at Independence Palace which has stayed in the mind of many generations of not only Vietnamese but also foreigners. It is known as the famous historical witness who passed through the two fierce wars against the French and American colonists. The palace was built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City and designed by architect Ngo Viet Thu and it is an outstanding example of 1960s architecture, with an airy and open atmosphere. Wandering around its rooms, Ariska was reminded of various important moments in the past of Vietnam, especially as the war moment that made Vietnam split into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Today in most locals' minds, the palace is remembered vividly as a marked end to the war, just like the fall of Berlin Wall, as the North Vietnamese tank crashed its gates on April 30th, 1975.
By the end of this Vietnam journey, Ariska is very impressed with everything she has experienced in Vietnam and would like to "Thank You Very Much" for Vietnamese people for their warm welcome and prosperity and send out her special thanks for assistance and professionalism of Let’s Viet Channel in helping her have a wonderful time in Vietnam. She will definitely be coming back to Vietnam again this coming October and will be looking forward to working with the team once more at the 2017 Miss Grand International beauty pageant.
The Beauty Queen who was Raised in a Military Camp (Part II)
The Exclusive Interview with Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand International 2016
Let’s continue our queen Ariska’s story! For this part, we will focus on her perspectives on differences and similarities of joining beauty pageant and studying in medical faculty and also her special activities on social work with the social work organization while studying in the university to prepare herself and to be familiar with the beauty queen’s charitable tasks! In addition, she will reveal who are the most influential persons or role models to inspire her and make her lead her life humbly and appropriately as the way she is nowadays. Last but not least, we will unveil her special interests, talents, and hobbies! Follow our conversations with our enchanting queen now.
Q: Let’s talk about your medical study, are you now holding your student’s status?
A: Yes, 1 year holding but I think it might be longer than 1 year.
Q: Is it a 5 years curriculum, right?
A: Actually in Indonesia, we have to take 5 years for studying in a medical faculty.
Q: Yes, that’s different from Thailand, we have to study 6 years in medical study.
A: Oh my God! 6 years really? That’s quite long.
Q: We think if you waited until you finish your degree you might miss a chance to join our beauty pageant because your age would be over our requirement, see what I mean?
A: Ah yes! I might be 25 or 26 that time, and it is gonna be too late to prepare myself for joining the Miss Grand International beauty pageant. But now I have 2 more years to complete my degree.
Q: Now, let’s get back to your university life, we’ve heard that during your study you’ve often joined the charitable projects arranged in the university. Would you mind telling us what kind of charities they are?
A: O.K. Yes, with my pleasure. It’s like a social charity for the children and then for disabled and elderly, it’s something like a foundation in the university founded for helping children, disabled and elderly yes.
Q: Could you please tell us how you help them?
A: Yes, we donate like foods and books for the children and then other needed supplies like stationery and sports equipment, things like that.
Q: Please tell us how often you arrange these charities?
A: Yes, maybe 3 times a month.
Q: Are you a regular member of this club or foundation?
A: Yes, it’s like an organization in my university, something like that.
Q: Ah I see, and this organization usually arranges the charitable activities and you usually join them, right?
A: Yes, I’ve usually joined them every month, every year since I started my university life.
Q: Wow, that’s good to hear that, that’s why it’s really right up your alley, I mean, if something is right up your alley, it would be perfect for you or ideal for your skills and interests. For example, if you like joining lots of social charities, you could share your kindness, humbleness, service mind, voluntary spirit and hospitality to help people in need when you become a beauty queen.
A: Yes, I think so; it’s important and really meaningful to me whenever I see their smiles on their faces every time when we arrive each place. Yes, it really supports my path of being a beauty queen like I am now because I have to join and help many kinds of charity like that.
Q: Ariska, we’re wondering if it is hard to be both a beauty queen and a medical student at the same time?
A: (Laughing) I don’t know! They are such different, two things different! But you know? I really enjoy the moment, that’s why I feel very overjoyed and then I think it’s ok doing both a beauty pageant and my study together, I sometimes think they’re not different. In my university life, I do many charities something like doing in the beauty pageants. I think they share something in common that we call passion, yes that is called passion, the passion to help people or to help those in need with their suffering, right?
Q: Yes, that’s true, that’s the passion of helping people and humanity which both a good doctor and a good beauty queen should have in mind.
A: Yes, because of being a beauty queen, you can have a bigger voice than others and it’s easier to ask for someone or some organizations to give us their hands in terms of doing charity as same as being a doctor that the major purpose is to help people.
Q: How nice to hear that again! However, the contents of these two jobs are totally different. Which one do you think it’s more difficult frankly?
A: O.K. (Laughing loudly) I think a beauty pageant!
Q: Really? Why do you think so?
A: Yes! You know? A beauty queen is a public figure. And then you know? Many people like me but many people also hate me (laughing) you know what I mean?
Q: I see what you mean Alice, this is because there are many groups of pageant fans and sometimes they see things quite differently. That’s so natural Alice, it’s always like that.
A: Yes, I understand that and that’s why someone loves me and someone hates me, so I think to be a beauty queen is much more difficult. Whenever I do something, if they don’t like the way I do then they will judge me negatively.
Q: Are you trying to tell me that you always have to behave and be careful in everything you do to please everyone, right?
A: Yes, that right! Nowadays I have to take good care of myself to be as perfect as I can for example, exercising in a gym to be in shape, hard training to always be good-looking because once when you step out of your room you have to be ready for being looked at by the public.
Q: That’s why you think being a doctor is easier.
A: That’s true, of course. Because when you work as a doctor, you just work in a medical examination room and examine the patient and sometimes the patient can’t see your face while working because we just always wear the mask (laughing).
Q: I couldn’t agree more, that’s why being a beauty queen is more difficult than being a doctor in your opinion, quite reasonable answers. So, let’s talk about your national pageant, the moment when you were not successful in Puteri Indonesia North Sumatera 2014, can you tell us more about that?
A: Yes, I was very sad and down but my mom said if you had a dream, you must fight for it! So, that’s why I tried again in the following year, and in 2015 I joined again in Puteri Indonesia North Sumatera 2015 and then I fought and finally at the Grand final I won the title Puteri Indonesia North Sumatera 2015. Then, in the following year in February 2016, I joined Puteri Indonesia 2016 which is the National Beauty Pageant of Indonesia.
Q: Sorry to interrupt, in Indonesia, can you repeat your competition in the other years in case you are not successful for your first or second times or even you are already placed in the top 5 finalists?
A: Yes, it’s O.K. We can do the repetition only in the provincial competition, but for the National Competition if we used to join it once, you cannot join it any more.
Q: You mean in the provincial competition you can join it so many times as you like if you are not successful or even being placed in top 5 finalists, am I right?
A: Yes, that’s for provincial competition, but you have only once in a lifetime for the national competition and you can’t any more. Is it the same in Thailand?
Q: That’s quite different from Miss Grand Thailand beauty pageant which is our national competition. Our contestant can join the competition over again and again if you are not successful or if you are not placed in the top 5 finalists.
A: Ah really? Even in the national competition?
Q: Yes, if you can’t pass into top 5, you can join the competition again although you could pass into top 10 or top 20 in the previous years, but you have to represent the different provinces.
A: Ah really? But can you join the competition in other provinces even though you were not born or don’t live in that province?
Q: Yes, a contestant doesn’t need to belong to that province, she can join the competition in the provinces around the country as she likes until she is placed or wins the title. Our pageant is really open for any beautiful ladies who love to be beauty queens.
A: I see, but what about Top 5 finalists?
Q: No, Top 5 finalist cannot join the competition any more because all of them have to represent our country at different international beauty pageants.
A: Ok I see I see. But for Puteri Indonesia, even though you’re placed or unplaced, or any top, you have no right to join the competition any more. That’s kind of only once in a lifetime.
Q: That’s clear Ariska. So, please tell us about the moment while you were in Puteri Indonesia 2016, I hope this time you were surely successful!
A: O.K. in Puteri Indonesia, I passed to the Top 5 finalists and won the 3rd Runner-up.
Q: Let’s talk about the time before the Grand Final of Puteri Indonesia during the pageant activities, I think it must be fun.
A: Yes, sure.
Q: Were you the one who was expected to win the title?
A: Um… I don’t know, but I already fought very hard for this national competition and won 3rd Runner-up for Putri Indonesia 2016 and then I went back to my hometown. If we throw back to the moment during the activities of the pageant, as I told you before, I really enjoyed every moment when I was in the competition. We had many things to do in the schedules, for example, we had to attend the lessons and training since the early morning such as beauty class, fitness training, social niceties and so other many classes.
Q: So you didn’t have any pressure during the pageant because you had to follow many things in the provided schedules, right?
A: You know? It’s like when I joined Miss Grand International Competition, I enjoyed all the moments and there was no pressure about anything, so the atmosphere was fine and I could manage it quite well. When someone asked me how I felt during the competition I just don’t know what to say because every moment was enjoyable for me.
Q: It might be because you have already set up the goal in your mind clearly and you always fight to reach that goal and never give up because your mind power can raise up your energy while joining the pageant activities.
A: Yes, that’s right. I think so, because everything was very enjoyable and I’d never thought that I had been forced to do it, but in contrast, I was very willing to do it.
Q: Wow, it’s amazing to hear! You are such an energetic woman. This is another important question, who is the most influential person for your life?
A: Is it like a role model? I think the first person is my mom because she is a very strong woman and really inspires me for everything. She always told me that if you had your dream, you must fight for it. It means umm…. She’s like a coach you know what I mean?
Q: Your life coach?
A: Yes! She’s like my life coach something like that and then the second one is… Lady Diana… You know? She was a very kind and helpful person and she always helped people especially the children and disabled people, and she had many charitable projects, but unfortunately she was too young to be passed away.
Q: Were you already born when she was passed away?
A: Yeah, I was already born, at that time I was about 2 years old when she was passed away.
Q: Why did you remember her because you were so young?
A: I saw her on YouTube and searching on Google, TV or from the news something like that.
Q: Yes, she was a very helpful and patient person. We were so sad when she died.
A: Yes, she was very queenly because she was the princess of England, right? She was very caring to any kind of people and did many charities for the people of her country and also other countries.
Q: One of her well-known projects and foundations she left to the world is the project for the people who have HIV, do you know that?
A: Yes, her project on HIV is very well-known among many people around the world.
Q: Moreover, she also had the projects for homeless people, poverty, physically and intellectually disabled people and children.
A: Yes, that’s why she is one of my most influential people because if I become a beauty queen, I could have a chance to help people and follow her ways of helping people. And then you know? I have a dream to open a home for children like a child care center, maybe if I finish my degree or have success in my life I’d like to open it to help the children.
Q: So, after one year of your reigning of Miss Grand International 2016, what are you planning to do? I hope you have to go back to study, right?
A: Yes (Laughing) I have 2 more years to complete my degree!
Q: Apart of being a doctor, would you still like to do anything else? Or are you interested in any other kinds of business?
A: Oh my God! That’s such a long future to think about. Um… after I graduate from Medical Faculty, I plan to take specialization in Plastic Surgery because I want to help people who have physical problems or disorders like eyes, cheek, nose and body, I hope I must feel very happy if I can help them to be happy and make them more confident. That’s why I plan to be specialized in plastic surgery.
Q: That’s a great idea Ariska, I think these kinds of people are very pitiful particularly if they have serious accidents and cause them the problem on any parts of their important organs of their bodies.
A: Yeah… like being burnt or having faced with various kinds of accidental incidents not only for beauty purposes. These people must take plastic surgery and I can help them and then make them more confident and more beautiful.
Q: Yes Ariska, You can start your charity with this idea. After you complete the specialization course, you can open a clinic to help the poor people who need to take surgery.
A: Yes, that might be another way I can do to help people because surgery is very expensive.
Q: That’s very interesting Ariska. It has been about 1 month living in Thailand, have you been familiar with Thai people or Thai culture so far?
A: Of course I have (Laughing)…
Q: What is the best thing of Thai people?
A: Thai people are very nice and it’s really a land of smile I can see people smiling everywhere around Thailand. That’s why I love Thailand.
Q: What about Thai food? What is your favorite Thai food?
A: Surely, Pad Thai (Thai stirred noodles) and then what… I forgot… something like?
Q: Papaya spicy salad or Som Tum?
A: Yes, papaya salad but not very spicy for me. And then, Tom Yum!
Q: Thai spicy soup! Do you like it with shrimp or sea food?
A: Oh, I like it with sea food, it’s delicious. Are there many kinds of them?
Q: Yes, we have the same ingredients and spices but we just change different kinds of meat like crab, fish, or chicken, depending on your preferences.
A: Ah I see!
Q: Can you cook in your room?
A: (Whispering) No, I cannot cook I have to learn with Cherry (Laughing) Yeah, I think I have to learn, I must learn how to cook (Laughing loudly)
Q: What is your special talent?
A: My talent is eating (Laughing loudly again)
Q: Eating is not talent Ariska (Laughing)
A: No no no just kidding please don’t tell Mr. Nawat (Laughing) Actually, I can play the classical piano and I can play the violin also and then keyboard.
Q: Did you use to learn it when you were young?
A: Yes, I learned how to play it since I was 5 years old. I could play the piano since I was 5 years old.
Q: Some time later you can show us playing the piano.
A: Sure! I think I’m gonna buy a piano maybe next month to play it in my room.
Q: Really? That’s great idea.
A: That’s what I love and I can play it when I feel lonely and miss my family. It can be my best friend.
Q: Which song do you love to play the most?
A: Uh… many like a…
Q: Indonesian or English songs?
A: English songs, many English songs.
Q: Please tell me one.
A: Wait! Nothing’s gonna change my love for you (Singing along)… That’s one of my favorite songs. (Laughing)
Q: Oh my God! That’s my favorite too, I’ve just known today you can also sing well apart of playing the piano.
A: Just a little not very good at it! I think I can play the piano much better than singing. Maybe you might sing for me and I will play the piano for you.
Q: With my pleasure! Ariska I’ve heard that one of your hobbies is raising a pet at home, what are your favorite pets?
A: Yes! I have 2 dogs and 2 cats at my home in Indonesia. Sometimes, they fight with each other, such a mess!
To be continued in Part III
The Beauty Queen who was Raised Up in a Military Camp (Part I)
The Exclusive Interview with Ariska Putri Pertiwi,
Miss Grand International 2016
This is the first interview ever with Miss Grand International Official Website since being crowned Miss Grand International 2016.
Ariska Putri Pertiwi, a 21-year-old 3rd year medical student from Medical Faculty of UISU (University Islamic of North Sumatra) Indonesia, was crowned Miss Grand International 2016 at the Westgate International Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday night, October 25th. 76 contestants competed in the fourth edition of the pageant which was held outside Thailand (our home base) for the first time. Her victory marks Indonesia's first ever international beauty pageant title. Let’s get to know her more with other sides of her life apart of being the title holder of Miss Grand International 2016 from this exclusive interview.
Q: Hi Ariska, thanks for having us with you today for the very first exclusive interview.
A: Hi, with my pleasure, let me introduce myself first, ok. My name is Ariska Putri Pertiwi you can call me Ika or maybe Alice (laughing) I’m 21 years old and I come from Indonesia. Today I’d like to tell you about my story.
Q: How about starting with your childhood memories?
A: Yes, all right, I’ll tell you about my father first. I was born in an army family; my father has been an Indonesian military officer since 1990s. It has been about 20 years.
Q: Do you mean you lived in the military camp when you were young?
A: Yes, of course with my father, and my mother is a housewife who is still working in Army’s Wife Organization she does charities for children, for everyone and things like that and then I have only one sister who is 5 years old and her name is Quinanta Claudia Syafira.
Q: Yes, she is very much younger than you!
A: Yeah! I don’t know why, but it’s like a magic you know? When I was 17 years old then she came into my life Oh my God, what is that? But I am so happy as an older sister and right now I miss her very much, but I’ve realised I cannot go home because I’m now living here in Thailand as Miss Grand International and have to live here for 1 year and maybe some time later I can go back to my country, my hometown.
Q: But so far, since you were crowned Miss Grand International 2016, you have just been back to Indonesia for twice.
A: Yes, this is the second time already (laughing). I don’t know why but I am so happy.
Q: Let’s talk about your younger sister, how did she feel when she knew that you were crowned Miss Grand International 2016?
A: She didn’t understand about what happened to her sister but my mom told me that she always kept asking where her sister was, where is Utti? Because my middle name is Putri (Ariska Putri Pertiwi) she calls me Utti.
Q: Didn’t she know anything about your winning the pageant title?
A: No, she doesn’t understand what Miss Grand International is.
Q: Is she very surprised when you’ve become well-known and many people try to get closed to you to take photos?
A: Yes, of course, you know, she’s still young, so she doesn’t understand.
Q: We’ve known that many Indonesian people are very happy on your winning, right?
A: Yes, because this is the first time ever of Indonesia to win international beauty pageant title so they’re very happy and it’s like a surprise when I won this title.
Q: It’s like a big present for your country.
A: Of course, it is our first time of Indonesia.
Q: We’ve heard that there were many press conferences happening in Indonesia when you were back there.
A: (Laughing) Yes! There were a lot of press conferences in Indonesia.
Q: This is because many people would like to meet you and know more about you and everything about you is such a talk of the town.
A: Of course, of course, yeah.
Q: So, that’s about your family and your childhood; you were born in a small army family living in the military camp, please tell us more about that.
A: Sure, I always moved from one place to another place due to my father’s job.
Q: Didn’t you usually live in Medan?
A: No, actually, I was born in Aceh and when I was three years old I moved to Malang and then Tanjung Pinang, after that I moved to Tembilahan, yes a lot of places (Laughing) not all yet, still moved to Pasaman, Padang, Sianta and the last is Medan city! So many places (Laughing)
Q: So, you had to change to many schools then.
A: Yes a lot of schools!
Q: Could you please tell us how you adapted yourself to new schools or new friends for many times?
A: Maybe, for the first time, it was very hard for me to get to know many new friends but I had to learn how to get along well with them and then I could make a lot of friends in many cities and I was very excited whenever I had to change to new school but I felt happy.
Q: Were you a beautiful girl like you are now when you were younger?
A: No! (Laughing) I think I changed when I was in high school and I joined a modeling school and then I joined the national beauty pageant for the first time in Puteri Indonesia 2014 when I was 18 years old and that time I already finished high school and started my first year in the university.
Q: You said that you used to join a modeling school for modeling skills training; it means that you joined it since you were in high school, right?
A: Yes, since I was in high school and then I joined Puteri Indonesia competition 2014 in my hometown, Puteri Indonesia North Sumatera.
Q: I see, and you won that competition!
A: No! I won the title in 2015 but I didn’t win in 2014 I won only 2nd Runner-up. But you know? This is my passion to become a beauty queen, that’s why I tried very hard oh! My god, I tried again and again until I finally won in Puteri Indonesia North Sumatera 2015 pageant and then I joined Puteri Indonesia 2016.
Q: I’m just wondering why you didn’t stop your competition at 2nd Runner-up in 2014. What was your inspiration to make you repeat your competition again in the following year?
A: This is because it’s like my dream and my mom’s dream also. So, I had to fight for my dream and for my mom’s.
Q: Oh, is it also your mom’s dream?
A: Yes! I think she wanted to be like a beauty queen (Laughing loudly) I think I think she really dreamed about it! So, I had to fight for my dream and hers!
Q: Did your mother use to join any beauty pageants before?
A: No never!
Q: But she was the one who pushed you up!
A: (Laughing loudly) But this is my dream too, that’s why she ah… she always supported me in every way like sending me to a modeling school, motivating me to join several competitions and supported me in every way she could. That’s what the way she pushed me up.
Q: She really knew where the goal was and then tried to push you up directly to make you reach that goal.
A: Of course, that’s why I think she is the best mom ever! She is very supportive.
Q: What about your father? As we know, most of the military officers don’t pay much attention or have special interests in any beauty pageant. What did he first think about it?
A: Yes, I think… ah… actually I had one problem about my study at the university. As you know, I’m now in the 3rd year at the university and my dad told me that I had to finish my study first and then up to me! But I strongly replied him that this is my dream, dad, I have to fight this year! He said “OK, you prove that! And I said OK I will show you my best!
Q: And then you’ve finally proved!
A: Yes! And then my dad (Clapping hands) and said proud of you.
Q: Did you use to ask him how he felt when you won the pageant title?
A: No, never (Laughing) I don’t know! Never!
Q: Why? We know how much proud your mother is about you because she has tried hard to make you successful, but we have rarely seen your father’s reaction. Why didn’t you ask him how he felt about your winning?
A: Uh… I don’t know, it’s something like… the relationship between daughter and father, we have kind of space you know?
Q: That’s right, of course, especially in Asian tradition, a daughter usually has closer relationship to mother than father.
A: Yes, that’s true, that’s why I’m very close to my mom than my father.
Q: How did you feel when you knew that you have to live far from your family for 1 year during your reign?
A: I think this is my beginning; it’s like… oh my god! I’m very lonely, I miss my mom and my family, but it’s ok because I, myself, always fight for my dream and now I have already reached it. So, ok, I have to fight for one year for Indonesia my country, for my family and of course for Miss Grand International Organization.
To be continued in Part II very soon.
Miss Shanghai Xuejiao Chen wins Miss Grand China 2017!
Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand International 2016 crowned the winner in Guangzhou, China!
Miss Shanghai Xuejiao Chen wins Miss Grand China 2017! Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand International 2016 crowned the winner in Guangzhou, China! Xuejiao Chen will represent China at Miss Grand International 2017 in Vietnam in October next year. The newly crowned Miss Grand China 2017 stands 5'11" or 180 cm. She is 26 years of age and works as a yoga instructor.
The host Beauty Miss Guangdong,Dana Liao was announced as1st Runner-up, she is 18 years old and stands 176 cm. Miss Guangxi Yuanxin Huang and Miss Heilongjiang Wen Dou won 2nd and 3rd Runners-up respectively.
The winner was crowned by the reigning Miss Grand International 2016 Ariska Putri Pertiwi and Miss Grand China 2016 Siru He. In the event held at the Royal Tulip Carat Guangzhou, China, the Top 10 semi-finalists were: Heilongjiang, Hainan, Henan, Guangxi, Hubei, Fujian, Neimenggu, Shandong, Guangdong, and Shanghai. The selection of the special awards had been done two nights before on the Pearl River where the evening gown parade was held which went to Miss Mongolia, Xuejiao Wo (Miss Inner) and Miss Beijing, Zhenrui Xu (Miss Elegance). The pre-pageant activities were highly appreciated by the candidates who got a chance to truly experience Guangzhou, China and its rich tourism and culture. The Top 7 had the representatives of Heilongjiang, Shandong, Shanghai, Guangxi, Hainan Hubei, and Guangdong.
Then the Top 4 finalists were excitingly announced and they had a chance to give the speech before the final election of the winner. The top 4 finalists included Guangdong, Heilongjiang, Shanghai and Guangxi. Finally, the most exciting moment began when the host announced the runners-up and the winner, 3rd Runner-up went to Heilongjiang Miss Wen Dou, Miss Yuanxin Huang from Guangxi won 2nd Runner-up, Miss Dana Liao from the host city Guangdong was announced as 1st Runner-up and Miss Grand China 2017 was Miss Xuejiao Chen from Shanghai. Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand International 2016 together with Siru He, Miss Grand China 2016 crowned the winner and her successor on the stage. At the end of the pageant, there was a photo session between the winner, runners-up and the President of Miss Grand International Org., Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil and the President of Miss China Org. and National Director of Miss Grand China, Mr. Adam Lee. Congratulations to the winner! We wish her a great year of reign and the best of luck for the upcoming Miss Grand International 2017 in Vietnam!
Miss Indonesia crowned "Miss Grand International 2016"
Fai, Supaporn Malisorn delighted Thai people by winning the 2nd Runner-up!!
Such a big boom over Las Vegas! Miss Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand Indonesia was crowned Miss Grand International 2016 with her outstanding beauty in every round of the competition until she could pass into the top 5 finalists to give a speech under the campaign STOP THE WAR & VIOLENCE and could answer the question of the panel of judges impressively and wittily. As the result, she could undoubtedly win the pageant title and becomes the first Miss Indonesia ever who wins the title in the international beauty pageants. DIRECTV channel 2076 broadcasted live from The US. The fans around the world including Thai fans could watch live via Facebook Live: Missgrandinternational on October 26, 2016 at 9:30 am throughout 2 hours of the show.
For overall atmosphere of Miss Grand International 2016 Final Show at Westgate International Theatre, Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in central city of colorful and joyous Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, which was the first year that Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil, President and Founder of Miss Grand International Organization with his team from Thailand along with the great cooperation of the team from USA created the phenomenon of Thai brand’s beauty pageant to amaze the international fans after remaining in creating the quality pageant and this has made Miss Grand International become No. 3 best beauty pageant of the world in just two years.
It is not surprising, at the final night, that the crowd of MGI’s fans from around the world would flock to support the representatives from their own countries at Westgate International Theatre. The show was started with the fabulous opening show led by Claire Elizabeth Parker, Miss Grand International 2015 among the contestants from 75 countries worldwide rocking the stage with their overfull dancing and introducing themselves in the presence of the panel of judges and pageant fans.
The famous actor, Mr. Brian J. White, serving as the MC for the show that night, announced the winner for the first special title “Best National Costume Award” which went to Miss Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand Indonesia, then announced the top 20 semi-finalists that included Jamaica, Bahamas, Thailand, Ukraine, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Venezuela, United States of America, Malaysia, Cuba, Peru, Australia, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Tahiti, Wales, Philippines, and Macau before their appearance on the stage again in colorful MGI swimsuits.
Then, the MC announced the winners for another 3 special titles including “Best in Swimsuit Award” which was Miss Selvinique Wright, Miss Grand Bahamas, “Miss Social Media Award” which went to Dianne O. Brown, Miss Grand Jamaica and “Best in Evening Gown” which went to Cherelle Rose Patterson, Miss Grand England. After that, the MC announced the top 10 finalists which included Indonesia, Peru, Philippines, Ukraine, United States of America, Macau, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Thailand, and Korea who won the title for “Miss Popular Vote Award” which was automatically qualified into top 10 finalists. Then, the top 10 finalists delivered their very touching speeches on the campaign “Stop the War and Violence” among the loud cheering of the pageant fans.
Afterwards, the audiences gave a big round of resounding applause to welcome Miss Claire Elizabeth Parker, Miss Grand International 2015 for her final walk expressing her love, impression, and responsibilities during her duties with Miss Grand International Organization throughout the passing year. A few moments later, the crown of Miss Grand International 2015 was returned to the President of Miss Grand International Org., Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil to crown the new Miss Grand International that night.
Subsequently, the top 10 finalists appeared again on the stage in their glamorous evening gowns before the most exciting announcement for the top 5 finalists which included Puerto Rico, United States of America, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia. The top 5 finalists had to answer the only one question from the judging panel which was the following:
“If you had to choose one of these two people to help you stop the war and violence, who would you choose between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton?”
This question undoubtedly called for a massive buzz over the hall because it currently involves intensive political situation of the United States. For the answers, Miss Grand United States of America and Miss Grand Philippines chose Donald J. Trump while Miss Grand Thailand, Miss Grand Puerto Rico and Miss Grand Indonesia chose Hillary Clinton because they believed that the power of women might help stop the war and violence much better than men if everyone offered helping hands and moved forward together.
When the question session ended, the most exciting moment began again among the thrill of everyone in the hall. The MC announced the 4th runner-up which went to Miss Grand United States of America, the 3rd runner-up went to Miss Grand Puerto Rico followed by the 2nd runner-up, Miss Grand Thailand.
Now, only 2 names of the finalists left to be announced that were Miss Grand Philippines and Miss Grand Indonesia holding each other’s hands full of thrill and excitement. The MC announced the winner for Miss Grand International 2016 which is the fourth Miss Grand International of the world which went to Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand Indonesia who was crowned the golden crown decorated with 21 carat diamond and the 1st runner-up was Miss Nicole Cordoves, Miss Grand Philippines. The new Miss Grand International, Ariska revealed, "This is such a wonderful night for me! It is the happiest moment of my life to be crowned Miss Grand International 2016. This is the first time ever for Indonesia to win the title in the international beauty pageants, I am the first (tearing). Thank you all pageant fans for your great support. After this, I’m ready to move forward on MGI’s mission and advocacy, “STOP THE WAR & VIOLENCE” along with Miss Grand International Organization everywhere and see you in Thailand!”
Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil, Miss Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Miss Grand International 2016, and Fai, Supaporn Malisorn, Miss Grand Thailand 2016, will arrive Thailand on October 29, 2016 at 11:35 am via Eva Air, flight No. BR67. The press and all fans are cordially invited to welcome the new Miss Grand International together by 12.30 pm, at the arrival hall (Gate 3) Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Press Release for MGI 2016’s
Welcome Ceremony & Press Conference
Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil announces to hold the MGI 2016 Press Conference at Las Vegas City Hall, USA to unveil the golden crown with 21 Carat Diamond and welcome the contestants from 80 countries worldwide who will compete at the Final Coronation Night this upcoming October 25.
Get hundred percent ready for Miss Grand International 2016 that will be held in the city of joy and fun, Las Vegas, USA in the night of October 25, 2016 at the Westgate International Theatre. It’s the first time of the international pageant owned by Thai people that has the opportunity to organize in the United States with the cooperation between working team from Thailand and from the United States. With the budget over 60 million baht, the pageant will be live to MGI fans all over the world to push forward for the winner.
Almost all of 80 contestants from countries around the world have already arrived in Las Vegas, USA including Supaporn Malisorn, Miss Grand Thailand 2016. The ladies were welcomed warmly by Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil, president and founder of Miss Grand International Org. by arranging limousine for picking up the contestants at the airport, staying at the five star hotel “Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino” that really excite our contestants.
Today (October 10, 2016 at 1.00 pm) Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil holds the official Press Conference for Miss Grand International 2016 at Las Vegas City Hall. It is such an honor to have Mr.Orlando Sanchez,Duputy City Manager Of Las Vegas, and Ms. Cami Christensen, Vice President Of Hotel Operations Of Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino welcome the Miss Grand International team with warmth and friendliness. Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil also reveals the fabulous and luxurious new collection of "Miss Grand International Crown” decorated with 21 Carat Diamond designed and created by Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil himself and presented by Clare Elizabeth Parker, Miss Grand International 2015.
As Mr. Itsaragrisil said, Golden Crown is the concept of the new crown for Miss Grand International. The focus is gold because we are Thais and Thailand is a land of prosperity. The structure is not made of 100% gold because it can easily collapse so the inside of the crown is made of brass and the exterior is adorned with 18K gold with 3 carats of 100 percent diamond on each single bouquet as comprising 7 bouquets totally, therefore, it includes 21-carat diamond. Furthermore, this crown is decorated with emerald on all seven sides and the largest piece of emerald is in green tone, as the matter of fact, we could not find such that big diamond. Our golden crown comes along with the Lady Torch logo in the middle which is a symbol of the Miss Grand International. We will use this crown during three consecutive years since 2016-2018.
This year's pageant theme is focused on the city of joy and fun and the show is exactly full of light and sound, but we still focus on the part of ‘STOP THE WAR’ which is our major concept. For daily events, the contestants will take sightseeing around Las Vegas, such as visiting Grand Canyon West Rim, Skywalk Glass, Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Old Town, Fremont Street and High Roller Wheel and any landmarks of Las Vegas.
According to the stage, as we hold the pageant abroad this year, we have to run the show in a theater that we cannot change any formats of the hall and the stage itself. Instead, we will focus on the show that is full of sound and light with a fun theme. Besides, the members of panel of judges are all foreigners. We believe that enormous amount of our pageant fans around the world will be interested to watch our show and support the representatives of their own countries. As can be seen from the views of our Facebook Live that are getting higher every day as well as the Thai fans who follow the activities of Miss Grand Thailand, Supaporn Malisorn.
We are also honored to have the famous actor, Mr. Brian J. White serve as the host throughout the pageant in the night of October 25 at 07.30 pm (US PDT Time) which is on October 26 at 09.30 am in Thailand. The audiences in Thailand can also watch the recording at the same night at about midnight as the two-hour full show via BBTV channel 7. For watching live in the United States, you can watch via DIRECTV channel 2076, we also have a live stream globally via Facebook Live at Missgrandinternational.
Claire Elizabeth Parker’s One Day Adventure around Bangkok
and Samutprakarn, Thailand
Claire Elizabeth Parker, Miss Grand International 2015 and some of MGI staff started the trip in an early Saturday morning at Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market, Samutprakarn Province, Thailand. This market should probably be called a 'riverside market' as like many others. It only has a few boats parked along the banks, with most of the stalls on solid ground. Nowadays, this popular type of market is flourishing all over Thailand and every village near a river has its own version.
Bang Nam Phueng is only few kilometres east side of Bangkok but it is not easy to find or to reach without your own transportation. Because of this, it has remained relatively low-key and the proximity to Bangkok makes it a great way to step away from the hectic town and step right into village life.
Our beautiful and lively Claire and team strolled along the market for around two hours, it was despite being well promoted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the market is surprisingly authentic with a large majority of Thai visitors. For everyone, it is a chance to discover and sample a lot of local foods, sweets and unusual fruits. Along the way, she bought lovely cactus with pink flower on its top which is so rare to find!
Claire Elizabeth Parker has found the people here very friendly, especially if you are daring enough to sample any of the interesting looking dishes on display. For travelers, it's always fun to try to imagine what this object or that lotion can be used for and Bang Nam Phueng market is definitely full of surprises!
The second place to visit on our trip was Sampeng Lane Market which is one of the biggest wholesale market hubs, located in small alleys, where you can find garments and accessories at the cheapest prices. The market is located nearby Chinatown and 'Pahurat' Indian market. Sampeng is the oldest market in town, filled with the old charm of the community.
Claire Elizabeth Parker was obviously excited to be here because this was another unseen sight of Bangkok for her! Sampeng Lane Market pretty much sums up the whole shopping experience of Chinatown – and, to some extent, the surrounding Old City area; it’s hot, busy, and the narrow lanes often become overly congested with vendors selling everything from fabrics, cheap clothes and electronics. As well as the steady flow of pedestrian traffic, pushcarts, worn-out vespers and the occasional truck overflowing with fresh produce all add to the madness.
But this definitively hectic nature of Sampeng is all part of the fun for Claire! Plus, she has found this really one of the cheapest places to come shopping in Bangkok, with impressive discounts available when you buy in bulk (10 or more items at a time gets you into wholesale territory). The most popular items to look out for are silk sarongs, jewellery, copied DVDs, women’s shoes, home décor and appliances, kids’ toys, cosmetics, handicrafts, dried food and all your usual tourist souvenirs and Claire bought some cute key ring at a cheap price! She really loved the way to make a bargain here.
While street food, nightlife and temples will always entice tourists to the Old City and Chinatown, when it comes to shopping, Sampeng Market is difficult to beat both in terms of price and fun… just as long as you’re not in a rush nor mind working up a bit of a sweat.
Now, we moved forward to our third destination; Cat Up Café. We could say this is the most favorite place for our beautiful Claire Elizabeth Parker. We hope you know why it is! She is one of the big names of cat slave! And this place seems to be her another heaven on earth.
Cat Up Café slogan is combined with Cat Cake Coffee Conversation, now opens at The Up Rama 3, Bangkok, Thailand. It’s such the best place for cat lovers to rejoice. Your feline fantasy is coming true, in the form of a cat cafe. The customers can hang out with friendly cats while eating, drinking and dangling feathery toys from fishing lines. For a little extra, you can order something to eat or drink.
Claire Elizabeth Parker, one of cat slaves, just loves this Cat Up Café because of its cute and sweet cats and of course because of tasty drinks and snacks. She spent around 2 hours happy time here groping and hugging the lovely cats while enjoying some yummy snacks and drinks! Such a good day with loyal friends!
It was around 6 p.m. when we reached our final destination of the day; “Asiatique the Riverfront”, which has successfully combined two of the most popular shopping experiences in the city: a night bazaar and a mall. This once-bustling international trade port has been transformed, with over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants housed under a huge replica warehouse complex.
Spending an evening here was no problem: Claire Elizabeth Parker and our team had good fun browsing the boutiques, or picking up gifts. Claire could find something she would like to eat and if this isn’t enough entertainment, shows are performed nightly: Calypso lady boy cabaret and soon, a classic Thai puppets performance. Because of time limitation, we had to cancel those fantastic shows. What a pity!
Wide streets run between each warehouse and Asiatique provides retro props for photo opportunities: a reproduction tram car, anchors and a push cart. Once our beautiful Claire entered the hangars, she appreciated the design even more. Claire was really overjoyed strolling and wandering along the small boutiques (over 1,000 in four warehouses) selling souvenirs, handicrafts, jewellery, and clothing. The little storefronts were attractive, the displays were interesting and there was a wide range on offer too, from fashionable Thai brands to affordable stores selling merchandise.
Claire Elizabeth Parker was amazingly surprised to see that Asiatique also had branches of KFC, Pizza Company, Au Bon Pain and MK. Restaurant which should not have been found at such retro and classical market like Asiatique. All in all, Claire found that this night bazaar is busy but isn’t overrun by tourists; crowds of locals enjoy coming here too. Asiatique is definitely worth making a visit and dedicating an evening to.
It’s about time to say good bye after spending around 2 hours at this night bazaar, Claire said to us she would never forget all great memories taking such wonderful trip around Bangkok and Samutprakarn on that day. It was really meant to her and she would keep in mind that Thailand is really her once in a lifetime experience. Our last impression with her was when we dropped her off at her residence, she took the Wai (the typical Thai greeting and farewell) by pressing her palms together and bowing her head slightly and spoke Thai with her cute western accent to us “Sawasdee Ka and Khob Khun Ka.” How lovely!
Deep Impression: A Moment of Happiness in Nepal
Claire Elizabeth Parker, Miss Grand International 2015 visited a camp for Nepal earthquake victims. She was very warmly welcomed by the people there although they've lived in poverty and hardship. The welcome was gracefully begun by wearing the white fabric around a visitor's neck as the Nepalese tradition.
Then, the children, as little tourist guides, led Claire to take a tour to inspect everyday living within their camp. Everyone lived in the allocated area and each family (about 30 homes) lived in a thatched hut with a tin roof on this small camp. Most of them were elderly people and small children, the young people were working outside the homes.
After the camp inspection, the children took Claire to the courtyard area to see their shows. Several kinds of show were arranged to welcome her because many people rarely visited here. When they arrived at the courtyard area, Claire donated several needed items to children including sports equipment, stationery, and toys, the atmosphere was really warm and friendly.
Eventually, the children performed the shows they prepared which most of them were local dances and they invited Claire to join their dancing. Claire accepted their invitation and the children taught her to dance traditionally. While Claire was innocently dancing wrong, it created lots of fun for the elderly.
When they finished dancing, the girls who wanted to be a beauty queen like Claire asked Claire to teach them how to walk like a beauty queen. Claire and those girls took their turns to teach each other, it was such the perfect combination. And the last activity came, playing “cricket,” which is considered the most popular sport of the people of Nepal. Claire had tons of fun playing cricket with the kids. The time had passed quite long, then, it was time to say goodbye. The children asked if Claire would have any chance to visit them again, Claire replied them that she would definitely come back for more if she had a chance. The children were glad to hear that and they pounced themselves on Claire and embraced her with love. Despite spending short time together, it has been deep impression because the time they spent together was absolutely a moment of happiness.