July 4, 2008
Handing on the crown
In a recent interview with Thanh Nien at Ho Chi Minh City’s New World Hotel, last year’s Miss Universe winner, Riyo Mori, talks about her hopes for an Asian successor and her future work.
“Nearly one year after the crown, I still feel ultimate happiness and have a burning desire to make a contribution to society,” said Miss Universe 2007, who has been to over 15 countries and regions to promote the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“I am a typical modern Japanese woman but I want to change the perceptions of the old generation who consider women only as housewives.”
“I can be considered a modern Samurai,” she laughed.
“I think I possess the Samurai spirit, which includes patience, a positive attitude and devotion to community.”
She believes the winner must be a humanitarian, and the final result does not just depend on the final show performances, because the organizers and panel of judges are constantly assessing the girls, their personalities and manners during the one month event.
Regarding the chance of another Asian winner this year, Riyo said, “It took Japan almost 50 years to get the Miss Universe title again. But I think Asia still has a winning chance this time.”
The beauty queen said she was very impressed by the Vietnamese representative, Thuy Lam, who was friendly and open-minded.
“Lam is not only very beautiful but also has a good command of English. We can talk with each other without any language barrier. This is to her advantage and she has a good chance of succeeding.”
An admirer of ao dai
In an interview with local media, Riyo said she had recently come back from a meeting with Vietnamese designer Lien Huong, who helped her make a new ao dai for Thanh Nien’s charity show Duyen dang Ao dai (Charming ao dai) held in HCMC’s Hoa Binh Theater Tuesday.
“I am going to don some ao dai but I would rather keep it a surprise!” Riyo said.
“My neighbors in Tokyo are a Vietnamese family who own a Vietnamese restaurant. They are very kind. Sometimes they bring me home-made dishes.”
Riyo said after her one-year stint as Miss Universe, she would return to her home country and open a professional dance school in Tokyo.
“I will treat children as a priority at ballet classes. I want to help the kids to stop playing useless online games, which deprive them of daily social contact,” the veteran dancing artist, who has been keen on ballet since she was four, said.
“I aim to instill in children a love for culture and arts.”
Source: TN, agencies