By Assunta Ng
NortHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Ni Jiang made Seattle proud when she captured the national title of Miss Chinatown Queen in 2008.
Hopefully, history will repeat itself with Jiang winning the Miss Chinese International on Jan. 17 in Hong Kong.
Jiang, 20, a University of Washington junior majoring in communication, left Seattle for Hong Kong on Dec. 23 to join contestants from all over the world, including seven contestants from China. The contestants will train in Hong Kong but the pageant will be held in Foshan on Mainland China.
Jiang is originally from the Sichuan Province in China. She came to the United States when she was 12 years old, and she speaks fluent Mandarin and Sichuanese.
Chinese pageants are typically plagued with controversies. In December 2008, the Miss Asia pageant was accused of deliberately omitting votes for some contestants. In other years, the media already knew who the winner was before the announcements. The question and answer portions are not designed to test the intelligence of the contestants but to get high television ratings.
Judges also prefer skinny contestants. The contestant’s figure counts for a lot. Jiang is aware of this preference.
To prepare, Jiang put herself on a special diet that is high in fruits and vegetables. She has lost weight. Her Chinese dance for the talent competition has been cut from six minutes to one minute. She has been working hard with her dance teacher, Li Hengda, for the past seven weeks.
“I will do my best,” Jiang said. “There are many factors to get placement (of titles).”
Jiang’s parents, owner of Seven Stars Pepper Restaurant in the International District, will be in China to watch the pageant.
Jiang’s mother, Nancy Li, said she has shopped for her daughter’s pageant appearance. Jiang was requested to bring five to six outfits, including cocktail dresses. Li said Jiang has worked very hard to prepare herself, and she is proud of her daughter.
Jiang has brought Dilettante chocolate with her for her new friends. She is excited to meet other contestants. But the stress will be high, she said, as the pageant is extremely competitive.
Whether or not she gets any titles, she looks forward to visiting San Francisco to be crowned as the the new queen in the national Miss Chinatown pageant after her trip to China. In the coming weeks, she will also participate in the biggest Chinese parade in the United States and its coronation ball.
Assunta Ng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.