Rose Li earns pageant title in Houston

Updated: 2014-07-28 11:36

By May Zhou in Houston (China Daily USA)

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Rose Li earns pageant title in Houston

The winners of Miss Chinatown Houston are announced on July 26 in Houston. From right: Miss Chinese New Year Helen Lu, Miss Chinatown Rose Li, Second Princess Jenny Xiao and Miss Talent Joan Zhang. Rose Li is a high school graduate bound for New York University. May Zhou / China Daily

Rose Li, an 18-year-old high school graduate bound for New York University this fall, won the title of Miss Chinatown Houston 2014-2015 after competing against nine other contestants.

Li will represent Houston and participate in the Miss Chinatown USA Competition that will be held during the Chinese New Year in 2015. Her reward includes a $3,500 scholarship and a $2,000 sponsorship for the US competition.

The 44th Annual Miss Chinatown Houston Scholarship Pageant, hosted by the Houston Lodge of Chinese American Citizen Alliance, was held at J.W. Marriott Hotel in the Galleria on July 26.

It continued its tradition of selecting 10 contestants to compete with each other in the form of gala.

In two hours, the contestants were judged on four categories: swimming suits for body form and fitness, talent show, Chinese traditional evening gown (qibao) for beauty, presentation and grace, and responding to a question for personality and poise.

The competition was well paced featuring a short interlude of dance and fashion presentation.

When asked the biggest lesson she learned during the Miss Chinatown celebration, Rose Li said she's impressed with how rich the Asian culture is in Houston. "I used to feel that there was a gap between my cultural Chinese background and American values, but Miss Chinatown celebrates the great aspects of both, making a bridge between the two."

Helen Lu, bound for Duke University, came in second place winning the title of Miss Chinese New Year and a $2,500 scholarship. Jenny Xiao, a student from Cinco Ranch High School, won the title Second Princess and a $2,000 scholarship; Joan Zhang, a student at Harvard University, won Miss Talent and a $1,500 scholarship performing a piano piece Liuyang River.

Emily Banditrat of Texas A&M was voted as Miss Conjugality by all the contestants. Her identical twin sister, Sherry Banditrat, was also in the competition. This is the first time that twins entered the pageant together.

Linda Wu, chair of the pageant, has been involved in organizing the event for over 30 years. "My mother Jane Gee was involved in the pageant in the 1970s and I became involved with her in the 1980s." Wu has chaired more than 20 pageants in Houston and she is very proud of all the contestants.

"They are all excellent and any one of them would make a wonderful Miss Chinatown. We are really proud of our young women in the community and we congratulate each one of them. Rose will be a very good model for the young woman," said Wu.

Karen Li, winner of last year's Miss Chinatown of both Houston and the US, said: "The experiences serving my community challenged me to be comfortable in new situations and taught me valuable lessons for my future. It broadened my perspective."