Beauty queen to focus on preserving ethnic minority traditions

By Thien An, Vy An    January 13, 2019 | 02:03 pm GMT+7

H’Hen Nie, a top 5 Miss Universe contestant, is working to preserve ethnic minority traditions and improve living standards.

Beauty queen to focus on preserving ethnic minority traditions

H’Hen Nie, 27, who belongs to the Ede community, is the first Miss Vietnam from an ethnic minority group.

H’Hen Nie said she wants to preserve traditions and improve the living standards of local people during a visit to her village in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak early this week. She enthusiastically joined the villagers to participate in a cultural and sports festival.

The local authorities had organized several fun events including football games, tug-of-war and sack races. H’Hen Nie joined thousands of spectators in cheering the contestant.

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Local villagers used tractors to welcome H’Hen Nie and take her to the place where the festivities were held. 

She was returning from Thailand after finishing as a top 5 contestant at the Miss Universe 2018 pageant, one of the grandest beauty contests in the world. She is the first Vietnamese woman to claim that spot in a Miss Universe contest.

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By joining folk dances and traditional games, H'Hen Nie said she wanted to contribute to preserving disappearing traditional customs in Central Highlands villages. She spent an afternoon and evening with residents of her village.  

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H’Hen Nie pounded rice grains with older women in the village. This is a common activity in the area after they harvest. "When I stayed at home I was so strong, I could pound 2-3 kilograms of rice at a time. I haven't done this for a long time now, my arms are tired," H’Hen Nie said as she pounded the rice.

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She also sifted rice on a winnowing basket to separate the grains from their hulls.

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H’Hen Nie encouraged parents to let their children wear traditional clothes of the Ede ethnic group to attend a campfire with her. 

She had advocated funding the construction of roads, provision of electricity and clean water for residents of her people in her village.

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H'Hen Nie felt at home as she played with the local children. 

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H’Hen Nie also awarded some scholarships to disadvantaged ethnic minority students to continue their studies. "Because, if they do not go to school, they will stay at home to get married," H’Hen Nie said.

"My mom did not force me to get married early so I had the opportunity to go further on my career path." she said. "My mother also told me that for the money I made today without spending too much effort, I should share it with those in greater difficulties than me."

H'Hen Nie was warmly welcomed home.

 
 
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