Moe Set Wine will make news next month when she is the first contestant to represent Myanmar in over 50 years at the Miss Universe pageant. The 25-year-old who studied business and marketing in California, was chosen from 20 hopefuls on Thursday (Oct. 3) night.
The last Miss Burma (the country took the name Myanmar in 1989, a year after thousands were killed in a pro-democracy uprising) contestant was Myint Myint Khin in 1961.
The country emerged from 50 years of strict military rule in 2011. Since then, the elected government has pushed to open up the society, including loosening of media restrictions. Contestants representing the country have participated in Miss International, Miss Earth and Miss Supranational pageants this year.
“I feel like now I am part of the history and I feel like a soldier that is doing something for the country and my people,” Wine says.
The 2013 Miss Universe pageant will take place Saturday, Nov. 9 in Moscow.