Lee Honey from Seoul waves to the crowds after being crowned as Miss Korea 2006 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul, Thursday. /Korea Times Photo by Koh Young-kwon
Miss Seoul Crowned Miss Korea
By Cho Jin-seo and Kang Shin-who
A 23-year-old Korean traditional harp player with dark brows and lovely dimples was chosen as Miss Korea 2006 last night.
Lee Honey (Ha-nui), a graduate student of Korean traditional music at Seoul National University, was honored as the most beautiful woman in South Korea at the 50th pageant ceremony held at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in the heart of Seoul.
``I want to give all the glories to God,'' Lee said in watery eyed moments after receiving a warm hug from last year's winner Kim Joo-hee. Apparently on the verge of bursting into joyful tears, she couldn't continue her words.
``This will be a big turning point of my life,'' she told The Korea Times backstage after the show.
``I will be the messenger of Korean beauty to the world.''
Lee, who prefers ``Honey'' as her English name, will represent South Korea at various international beauty contests such as Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Asia-Pacific.
She majored in kayagum, a Korean traditional string instrument, at the Seoul National University, the most distinguished school in South Korea. She is continuing her studies as a graduate student at the same school.
Lee's father is known as a top official at the National Intelligence Service. One of her uncles is Moon Hee-sang, lawmaker of Uri Party who was a top aide of President Roh Moo-hyun. Her mother and older sister are all kayagum players, too.
The runner-up prizes of the pageant went to Park Sharon from Inchon and Jang Yun-seo from North Chungchong Province. Co-organized by the Hankook Ilbo and Sports Hankook, sister papers of The Korea Times, the 50th beauty queen event was participated in by 61 contestants, including 16 Korean descendants from Korean communities abroad.
Throughout the two and half hour event, a star-studded panel of judges rated the contestants during musical performances, swimsuit and evening dress shows and interviews. The judges screened 17 candidates in the first round, and seven
contestants were left on the stage after their second interview.
The pageant ceremony was broadcast live on cable channel MBC Drama Net. New Miss Korea Lee also received 20 million won in prize money. Runners-up Park and Jang were awarded 10 million won each.
I wonder if she played the instrument as a part of the talent competition. (Assuming that there was a talent competition... apparently not:
Lee Honey, winner of the 2006 Miss Korea contest, sings a Korean traditional song at the main event, Thursday. /Korea Times Photo by Kim Ji-gon
I wonder how well she sang, and what the song was... I don't think it will be easy to find a video online.
Contestants at the 2006 Miss Korea contest present a fashion show wearing clothes by the nation's top fashion designer Andre Kim. /Korea Times Photo by Hong In-kee
Andre Kim! Again!
Winners of the 2006 Miss Korea awards acknowledge the crowd at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul, Thursday. From left, Park Sung-min from Pusan, Kim Yu-mi from Seoul, Jang Yun-seo from North Chungchong Province, Lee Honey (Ha-nui) from Seoul, Park Sharon from Inchon, Kim Su-hyun from South Cholla Province and Park Hee-jeong from Pusan. /Korea Times Photo by Wang Tae-seog
Is beauty something you are born with or something you can create? The contestants in this year's Miss Korea contest have proved that physical charms cannot sparkle without inner attractions and efforts to develop them.
The pageant, which was held last night at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Seoul, garnered Lee Honey (Ha-nui) from Seoul the honor of the nation's most alluring woman. Lee is a graduate student majoring in kugak, or traditional Korean music, at the Seoul National University.
The runner-up prizes went to Park Sharon from Inchon and Jang Yun-seo from North Chungchong Province. The second runner-up prizes went to four contestants: Park Hee-jeong from Pusan, Kim Yu-mi from Seoul, Park Sung-min from Seoul and Kim Su-hyun from South Cholla Province.
But the crown of a beauty queen aside, all 61 contestants successfully did their best to show what their charms were in the main event.
Organized by the Hankook Ilbo and Sports Hankook, two sister newspapers of The Korea Times, the annual event was richer in programs to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.
Along with their physical charms, the sculpted beauties showed off their talents pleasing the jury and audiences with dances, songs or instrumental performances and a fashion show with clothes by the nation's top designer Andre Kim, who also served as a member of the jury.
Other jury members include the first prize winner of the 2002 Miss Korea Kum Na-na, who made it to Harvard University, actor Cha In-pyo, who stars in recent film ``Hanbando'' and Nageshrao Parthasarathi, Indian ambassador to Seoul.
The contestants are winners of this year's regional competitions, both at home and abroad. Among them, 16 are ethnic Koreans living in Korean communities in other countries such as the United States, China and Japan.
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