VOA is honored and proud to present to you
Miss Asian America 2009, Amy Chanthaphavong, who became the first
Laotian-American to be crowned Miss Asian America on Saturday, August 8, at the
iconic Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco.
Amy Chanthaphavong was born to Mr. Sane & Mrs. Monethaly Chanthaphavong in San
Diego on April 28, 1982. Amy grew up in a loving family and has been involved
with the Laotian American community in preserving the Lao culture. Even though Amy
was born in America, her upbringing is more to the Lao side. Amy holds a Bachelor
of Science in Political Science and Business from the University of San
Francisco. She did a year of Law school at California Western, but realized that
it was never her thing. She then packed up and moved to New York to follow her
dream in becoming a fashion designer. Amy is currently working part time as Operations Manager at Softagon, a software design company, and attending
Parsons full time in Fashion Design.
VOA: What make you compete in this
Amy:"Once I was told that I'll will be the first Laotian American to compete in
the Miss Asian America Pageant 2009. I
am so excited and want to compete to represent the Laotian American community."
Amy also told VOA that the whole process
is very intensive; there is about two months from the date of submission and
the actual competition. "The hardest part is that the traditional Lao outfit
had to be ordered from Laos. I've two traditional outfits: the black and gold
color Lao Sinh, which I wore for the introduction to the stage, with
a handmade larger than usual head piece for stage presentation purpose and the
blue one which I wore for the talent show, for which I performed the
well-wishing dance(Fon Ouyphone)," Amy explained.
Amy is a very smart and talented
individual and poised trying to showcase her ability, knowledge and talent
on the stage while competing in the pageant. Amy added that "The competition
started even before the stage presentation, because each contestant had to make
it to the 23 finalists first."
VOA: What would you like to share your experience of being Miss Asian America 2009?
Amy: "Winning the
Miss Asian America title is not something I did on my own at all. It was through the
purse of my friends, through the supports of my friends and family, my mother,
my father. Once I realized that I won, it wasn't like "I WON", but rather "WE
WON", as people and as a culture. When I went in to the competition, I did it
for Laotians in the United States and Laos. I hope that whoever will compete in
the pageant next year will think that she will do it for Laotians everywhere
not just for their own benefits and glamour… to take it beyond themselves."
Amy Chanthapavong will attend the 5th
annual celebration of the Laotian Heritage Foundation in Washington DC on
September 19, 2009 to help showcase, promote and expand Lao heritage through
arts, performances and literature. Mark your calendar and show your support and hope to see you there.
For additional information please go to http://www.laoheritagefoundation.org/
interview by clicking any audio files above.
Thank you for beautiful photos...Henry Liu & David Yu.