Miss Intercontinental to Be Held in Belarus

By Kim Se-jeong

Staff Reporter

The Miss Intercontinental, a beauty pageant that will take place in Belarus this weekend, will be the window for the Korean people to discover the beauty of the country, said Belarussian Ambassador Aleksandr E. Guryanov.

The event, one of the world's three most renowned pageants, will be held in Minsk, the capital of the East European country on Sept. 27.

Cha Ye-lin, the second prize winner of the Miss Korea Contest, organized by the Hankook Ilbo, a sister paper of The Korea Time, is participating.

She has already flown to the city where 58 women are getting ready for the big Sunday evening.

What is so encouraging to Ambassador Guryanov is that the event will share his workload, which has been heavy, in raising the profile of Belarus in Korea.

If the Korean contestant wins, it would be tremendous support to his work, he said in an interview at the embassy in Seoul, Monday.

As testified by the ambassador, promoting Belarus in Korea isn't an easy task.

Taking a back seat to Europe and Russia, the landlocked country is not well known here.

It is bordered by Russia to the north and east, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the north.

Quoting a couple of his Korean friends, he said, those who had gone to Belarus found true enjoyment out of their trips.

Whereas Korea is covered mostly with mountains, Belarus is mostly flat with countless lakes and rivers, according to the ambassador.

``We have more than 20,000 rivers and 11,000 lakes. For Koreans, it would be of great interest. The natural landscape is a little bit different.''

What also made Guryanov encouraged about hosting the beauty pageant was the country's capability.

It is a good chance to show that Belarus is capable of holding such a big international event, he said. The Minsk Arena, an entertainment facility which will serve as the venue for the beauty pageant was completed last spring.

Since then, he said, Belarus has won the rights to host several international events, including the World Ice Hockey Championship in four years time and the Children's Eurovision Song Contest this year.

``We are also preparing to have bigger events, for example in soccer, tennis and other sports, he said.



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