Miss Universe 2013: Myanmar to Send Contestant to the Pageant for the First Time in 50 Years

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By Riza Ornos | October 14, 2013 9:49 AM EST

Myanmar is sending Moe Set Wine as the country's representative for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, Russia. The 25-year-old beauty queen is Myanmar's bet for the first time in 50 years, a sign that the once-isolated country in Southeast Asia is now ready for change after decades of suffering under the military rule that ended in 2011.

Moe Set Wine

Miss Myanmar Moe Set Wine will be making history as she represents her country for this year's most prestigious pageant. A business and marketing graduate in the U.S., Moe Set Wine bested 20 other contestants and was hailed as the new Miss Myanmar who will compete against 60 other contestants from around the world.

"I feel like now I am a part of history, I feel like a soldier that is doing something for my country and my people," said the new Miss Universe Myanmar. "I still can't believe it, but I feel really happy because now I get the chance to represent my country and my people."

The event was hosted by Burmese hip hop star Sai Sai and model tin Moe Lwin where the contestants competed in 3 categories - traditional dress, swimwear and ball gowns. The pageant's organizers are hoping that by joining in the Miss Universe pageant, Myanmar will be recognized in the international arena.

"Now this is the first goal for Myanmar [Burma], we are ready to go to an international stage and we want to show our Myanmar heart and that we're really happy and very proud to be Myanmar," said co-host and model Tin Moe Lwin.

Myanmar joined Miss Universe pageant for the first time in 1959, but stopped in 1962 when the country was under the military rule of the late dictator Gen. Ne Win. The famous Myanmar dictator is the one responsible of imposing a socialist government on an already traditional Buddhist society.

After 52 years, the country broke its silence and Miss Universe Myanmar will take her place at the global beauty pageant on Nov. 9.

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