Friday, September 16, 2011

2011 Meet the Misses v.5 - Miss Slovenije 2011

Slovenia is located on Central Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It was one of the republics that comprised the former Yugoslavia until 1991 and it is the richest of all Slavic nations. Around half of the country is covered by forests including the famous Triglav National Park, named after their highest peak Mount Triglav. This mountain is the preeminent symbol of Slovenia. This nation is the merging point of the Alps, the Dinarides, the Pannonian Plains and the Mediterranean. All four provide different landscapes that diversify the country's natural resources. Slovenia have many Baroque and Venetian Gothic buildings and has several towns that date from the Middle Ages which exemplify the long history of this nation. Slovenia is a largely secularized nation and throughout history has been a meeting area of four linguistic and cultural groups of the continent: Slavic, Germanic, Romance and Uralic.  The nation debuted in Miss World back in 1992 and this year Lana Mahnič Jekoš, Miss Slovenije 2011, will try to reach the finals of Miss World for the first time.


The Times of Beauty proudly presents Lana Mahnič Jekoš, Miss Slovenije 2011, in an exclusive interview for our interview series, Meet the Misses.

1. Give us an introduction of yourself.
My name is Lana Mahnic Jekos, I was born on the 7th of November 1989 in New York, United States. My elementary school days were spent in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Athens, Greece. In Slovenia and Cairo, Egypt I successfully completed high school with an International Baccalaureate diploma and an American diploma. This international diploma opened my doors for studies at the University of Greenwich in London (UK), where I graduated with my first degree in July 2011.
Already my academic background can portray the spiritually rich and multicultural persona, which I reflect, due to having had the opportunity to meet people from a wide range of cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Additionally, I would describe myself as adaptive, understanding, energetic, positive and an ambitious person who embraces challenges.
Throughout the years, I have spent my free time effectively, by volunteering for charity organizations and serving the community in all the different countries I have lived in (Slovenia, Greece, Egypt) and additionally in South Africa and India. Furthermore, I play piano, horseback ride, hike and ski on the Slovene Alps, while enjoy swimming in the summer time at the Slovene coast.


2. Tell us a bit more about your country and hometown.
Slovenia is a distinctive yet homogenous cocktail of its own as a result of having had been exposed to different (Slavic, Germanic, Romance and Hungarian) cultures and history throughout time. These different cultures and the different historical backgrounds are portrayed within the population of Slovenia today. Slovenia has a very diverse landscape characterized by the Alps, sea and the diverging forests, valleys, hills and lakes that lie in between.
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, where I spent my childhood, is overlooked by a historical castle. The city is divided between the old and the modern part of the town by a lively yet small river, named Ljubljanica. The old town fills people with its culture through the architecture and shops and its culinary smells coming from the varied cafes, restaurants and the local market.
Grosuplje, my current home town is a small town close to the capital Ljubljana. The city is small, relatively simple, it is surrounded by forests and local farms and is populated by kind and generous people.

3. What does it mean to you to represent your country at the 61st Miss World finals?
My participation in the 61st Miss World finals represents a great honor for me. therefore, I view it as an enormous opportunity, to do my ultimate best in representing my country. Furthermore, with the opportunity to mingle with so many culturally diverse ladies from all around the world means that I can share this unforgettable experience with the Slovene public to expand our knowledge and networks. Lastly, this participation in the Miss World finals means that I will be the pillar, which represents Slovenia and Slovenes from their intellectual, cultural, and historical point of view.


4. If you have to choose a song to describe yourself, which would you choose and why?
Ain’t no sunshine by Bill Withers is a song, suggested by those closest to me, as the song which best describes me. As the song suggests I am the sunshine, which symbolizes glory, brilliance, authority, happiness, life, spirituality, hope and radiance to those around and close to me.


5. How would you describe a typical day in your life?
It is difficult to describe a typical day for me because everyday is different from the previous. Nevertheless, my day starts early in the morning. I put a lot of importance on looking suitable in my everyday life activities and being prepared for the day, which includes being on top of the local and international news and having a well planned goal for each coming day. The day then flows depending on the various activities planned for that day, whether it was attending lectures at the university before I graduated or more currently in my new role as Miss Slovenia. During the day, I can be actively planning my humanitarian project, volunteering, visiting my sponsors and charities, giving interviews and traveling to different parts of Slovenia. Every day finishes with making at least one person happy, either by offering an old person help when crossing the street or by helping a child learn to read.


6. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I see myself as an influential business woman in the fashion, cosmetics or alternative energy industry, promoting green issues, the use of renewable sources of energy, a fair and ethical system of trading and the support of charitable institutions.

7. Which well known person from your country you most admire and why?
I admire Danica Purg, the director of the MBA school in Bled, Slovenia because she founded the first postgraduate MBA program, which is internationally recognized. I admire her determination, her success and intelligence.


8. If you had to choose any other country to live in, which one would you choose and why?
Since the world is divided by lines on maps and by borders on landscapes I would chose the territory named Slovenia, because I am very proud of our history, people and our achievements as a very young country. However, many times I wish there were no lines or borders limiting and distancing us, which are many times the causes for unnecessary national prejudices, misunderstandings or even tensions. Therefore, I feel that I nevertheless belong to the world, where everyone is equal in my eyes.

9. After the Sendai Earthquake, nuclear energy has become a focus of attention. Are you in favor or against the use of this kind of energy as a way to reduce the dependence on oil?
I have been against the use of non-renewable energy sources even before the Sendai Earthquake and it is sad that such a horrifying and damaging event must occur before such topics become the focus of our attention. This event should represent a lesson to all of us humans, who are responsible for the planet on which we live on, to act before.


10. What do you think is the worst kind of human injustice or prejudice happening now?
I believe that the greatest injustice at this current time is that the gap between the richest and the poorest countries keeps widening and that those living in the poorest countries lack the most basic needs for survival.

11. What are your duties as Miss Slovenije?
My duties as Miss Slovenia are: to be active on the humanitarian field, to cooperate with my sponsors, to represent myself through the media to the Slovene public, to present Slovenia in the best possible light to all the contestants, world media and finally of course to do my best to qualify to the final six at Miss World 2011.

12. What role can social media (ex. Facebook, Twitter, etc) play in the life of a beauty pageant titleholder?
I believe that the social media can play a very important role in the life of a beauty pageant titleholder, as that is the tool to communicate with the supporters and the rest of the general public. The social media have been able to slash the distances and barriers among countries and enabled people to have a closer relationship with those whom them support.


13. What does it mean to be a human being?
To be a human being is a gift of life, as a human belongs to the highest level of evolution. It means that a human being is able to think, to express oneself, act rationally. A human is also a social being and as such able to participate in the development of one's social group and the world.

14. What do you feel is your purpose in life?
My purpose in life is to be compassionate and to act responsibly towards the environment, to the other human beings, to help those in need and to develop my capabilities to the full potential.


15. Share a message to your supporters and readers of The Times of Beauty.
Never give up your dreams in life!

and finally...
Personal Motto: “The sky is the limit”
Personal Goal: Of course my goal is to qualify in the final six of Miss World 2011 and otherwise to become an influential and successful business woman.
Personal Dream Destination: Machu Picchu
Favorite Food: I enjoy a variety of foods, however, my favorite is Sushi from Japan and of course Slovene food.
Favorite Color: Gold
Favorite Song: “I say a little prayer” by Aretha Franklin
Favorite Movie: “Life is beautiful” originally “La Vita e Bella” by Roberto Benigni
Favorite Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Favorite Singer/Band: Gotan Project
Favorite Actor/Actress: Grace Kelly
Favorite Hobby: Modeling
Favorite Sport: Skiing


SPECIAL THANKS
Eva Repič, project director of Miss Slovenije
Lana Mahnič Jekoš, Miss Slovenije 2011

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