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