Zenisha Moktan crowned Miss Nepal 2009

20 year old Zenisha Moktan was crowned as Miss Nepal 2009 in a pageant held on September 24. She stands 1.68m tall and is is a student from Kathmandu.

Zenisha Moktan will represent Nepal at the Miss World 2009 contest to take place in South Africa next December.

Around 100 Maoist protesters staged a sit-in as the beauty contest got under way, police said.

The demonstrators blocked the road and shouted "down with Miss Nepal" and "stop the exploitation of women," but left voluntarily as the contest began, police inspector Tul Bahadur Karki told AFP.

"Around 100 Maoist women staged a sit-in at the gate of where the beauty contest was being held," said Karki.

"The protesters left the scene as soon as the programme started."

The contest to select Nepal's candidate for the annual Miss World competition is being held under tight security after it was cancelled last year by the former Maoist-led government, which branded it anti-women.

The Maoists formed a government last year after winning landmark elections, and lawmakers from the party later said they would not allow the Miss Nepal event to take place.

But Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal -- who goes by the name Prachanda -- resigned as prime minister in May after just eight months in the job.

Contestants for the Miss Nepal crown must impress the judges with a performance of traditional songs and dances, and are questioned on their ambitions and political views.

But unlike Western beauty pageants, Miss Nepal does not have a swimsuit round. Contestants in the deeply conservative, majority-Hindu nation appear in traditional saris.


"To God be the Glory".