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.