Truong thi may licensed to compete at miss universe 2013

She may be Vietnam’s entrant in this year’s Miss Universe pageant, but 25-year-old Truong Thi May says her ancestry is as Khmer as any Cambodian west of the border.

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Miss Vietphái mạnh 2013 was born in Phnom Penh và grew up in the region of Vietnam known lớn most Cambodians as Kampuchea Krom, or Lower Cambodia.

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Miss Vietnam, Truong Thi May, whose Cambodian name is Reaksmey, poses backstage during the Miss Universe national costume show in Moscow on Sunday. Ms. May was born in Phnom Penh to lớn ethnic Khmer parents. (Miss Universe)

“My parents và grandparents are Kampuchea Krom. My mother came to Cambodia to lớn start a business and I was born in Phnom Penh in 1988,” Ms. May said speaking in Khmer via Skype from Moscow—where this year’s pageant is taking place.

“My mother told me that when I was about a year old, she moved us bachồng khổng lồ Vietphái mạnh,” she said.

The three-week-long Miss Universe pageant, which opened October đôi mươi, culminates in the crowning of a new Miss Universe in Moscow on Saturday night.

The pageant does not feature an official Miss Cambodia contestant.

Ms. May, whose Khmer name at her family trang chủ in Vietnam’s Mekong delta region is Reaksmey, said that in the absence of an official Miss Cambodia, she hoped to lớn represent both cultures present in her upbringing.

“The Miss Universe competition is the biggest competition so I want…especially to introduce the world lớn Vietnamese and Cambo­dians and the traditions of these two countries,” Ms. May said.

“I want to show everyone & everywhere that Khmer children are gentle and kind.”

Ms. May said her mother had taken care in raising her to lớn make sure she did not forget her Cambodian ancestry, và had made sure the language of the family trang chủ was Khmer.

But the celebration of Miss Vietnam’s cultural background during the Miss Universe pag­eant will not include her wearing traditional Khmer clothing.

“I wish I could, but I can’t. The competition just allows an evening gown, a swimming suit & a Vietnamese traditional dress,” she said, ex­plaining the pageant’s format.

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“I think that I have had good fortune and I feel so proud of being a Vietnamese-Khmer girl,” she said, adding that she does not underst& the animosity that some Khmers inside Cambodia hold toward the Vietnamese.

“From my point of view, being a human being in 2013 means that we all have sầu good luông xã & fortune so we need lớn embrace each other with love & warmth,” she said.

“Just give love sầu, it’s better than hating,” she added by way of advice.

“Just be positive in everyone’s eyes.”

Ms. May—who was recently named one of 2013’s “Top 3 Sexiest Vegetarian Asian Women” by rights group PETA Asia-Pacific—previously placed second in the 2007 Miss Ethniđô thị Viet­nam giới pageant, a competition open khổng lồ women of each of the 54 recognized ethnicities of Vietphái nam.

Asked if she would use her newfound prominence on the Miss Universe stage lớn give a voice khổng lồ the Khmer minority in Vietphái nam, Ms. May said that the Communist Party in Vietphái nam was already doing a suitable job.

Also, accusations that Vietnam persecutes its Khmer Krom minority are not reflective sầu of her own experience growing up there, according to lớn Ms. May.

“Of course, most are poor. My family is very poor too,” she explained. “But the Vietnamese government has helped the poor a lot—it’s not true that the Vietnamese government doesn’t help us.”

In polling for the People’s Choice portion of the Miss Uni­verse competition, run by the Manila-based Missosology beauty pageant analysis website, Miss Vietphái mạnh was last night running in fourth place with 19,500 votes.

But even if she does not win the Miss Universe crown on Saturday night, Ms. May hopes in the future she can help promote Cambodian và Vietnam­ese values as well as a mutual understanding between the cultures.

“I will disseminate good culture và try my best lớn make all give more love to lớn each other,” she said.

“I hope I can encourage others to love sầu and help each other & especially to help poor people.”

In 2006, Prime Minister Hun Sen handed down an edict saying that there would be no Miss Cambodia until less than 15 percent of Cambodians live below the poverty line và average yearly income hits $1,500.