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Vietnam among Miss Universe 2018 top 5

H’Hen Nie is the first Vietnamese contestant to be named among the top five at Miss Universe. Photo:
For the first time, Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie made it into the top five in the Miss Universe 2018 competition.

Miss Philippines Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe 2018.

This year’s competition had a record 94 contestants and was held in Thailand.

The runner-up and second runner-up were Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green and Miss Venezuela Isabella Rodríguez.

During her interview, H’Hen was asked about the #metoo movement. She said: “I don’t think that it has gone too far. Protecting people’s health, protecting women and fighting against sexual harrassment is the right thing to do. Women need protection and rights.”

Earlier, H’Hen’s national costume representing banh mi, was among top four outfits with the most compelling back stories.

H’Hen said after the competition, she would devote her time on her studies for a better future. She also said she hoped to work in the coffee export industry so that she could help to improve the living conditions of her family and hometown, Dak Lak.

H’Hen cleverly used her costumes to convey meaningful messages during the competition. Her red and yellow dress showed her pride and love for her home country, while the brocade dresses was a symbol of her Ede ethnic culture. She also raised awareness about LGBT rights with a rainbow-coloured skirt and HIV/AIDS with a red ribbon on her wrist.

H’Hen Nie is the first person from an ethnic minority to be crowned Miss Universe in Vietnam.

She was born in a poor family in a rural village in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak where it is customary to get married as early as 14.

When she was told to find a husband at the age of 14, H’Hen said that she could not possibly get a husband at the time because she “had to follow her dreams and didn’t want to live a life where she had to marry early like many other kids had in her village”.

Instead, she went to HCM City, working different jobs – maid, tutor, leaflet deliverer and model to pay for her studies and life.

In 2017, she was crowned Miss Universe Vietnam.

The top five is the furthest Vietnam has ever achieved at the Miss Universe beauty pageant. In early November, Vietnamse contestant Nguyen Phuong Khanh was crowned Miss Earth 2018.