Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2011 Meet the Misses v.29 - Miss Bonaire 2010/2011

Bonaire is widely considered as one of the very best diving spots in the world, therefore it is known as the Divers Paradise. Bonaire is a special municipality of the Netherlands, it was part of the Netherlands Antilles until October 10, 2010. Despite its political status, Bonaire is a nation with a distinct heritage, culture and language. The economy is mostly based on tourism and it is catered for scuba divers and snorkelers. Bonaire has earned a reputation for being one of the most environmentally conscious islands in the Caribbean and is a leader in sustainable tourism. For them, it has become a tradition to understand the importance of nature and its conservation. The island developed a master plan to control the development of the island without harming its natural wonders ensuring sustainable growth while maintaining nature and the historical heritage of the island. Currently Bonaire has a total of five Ramsar Conservation Sites on the island. Klein Bonaire, offshore Bonaire's capital Kralendijk, is also included. Extensive areas of rural land are protected by law. The population is a mixture of more than 80 nationalities and ethnic backgrounds.  Most of the neighborhoods have centers where residents go for social and cultural gatherings. The island has a laid back, quiet atmosphere that visitors feel immediately. The official languages are Dutch and Papiamento. Papiamento is the language of the islanders that was born as a result of the linguistic interaction of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and West African languages. English and Spanish are widely spoken. Bonaire has sent a contestant to Miss World only once in 1996. This year Benazir Berends Charles, Miss Bonaire 2010/2011, will be the second contestant from Bonaire in Miss World marking the return of the nation after 15 years.

The Times of Beauty proudly presents Benazir Berends Charles, Miss Bonaire 2010/2011, in an exclusive interview for our interview series, Meet the Misses.

1. Give us an introduction of yourself.
My name is Benazir Berends Charles, I was born on the 9th of July 1992, that makes me 19 years old and with the zodiac sign of Cancer. I am 1.76 meter tall.
I am a down to earth, independent young woman and a chaser of my dreams and goals. I love to travel to see new things and meet new people and get to know other cultures. I love to be surrounded by my supportive family and friends.

2. Tell us a bit more about your country and hometown.
I am from a small Dutch Island in the Caribbean called Bonaire. Just north of the coast of Venezuela.
Bonaire is well known as “the Flamingo Island” or “Divers Paradise” and has around 16 thousand inhabitants. Our most important industry is tourism. I grew up in small and calm village named Belnem, located very close to our international airport and the best beaches of the island. Foreigners, mostly Europeans, dominate the composition of the inhabitants.

3. What does it mean to you to represent your country at the 61st Miss World finals?
It means the world to me that I do get the chance to represent my island at the Miss World 2011 pageant especially a pageant which focus on beauty with a purpose. It is an honor to represent my beautiful Island Bonaire at one of the most famous grand slam pageants in the world. I do believe that Bonaire won’t be the same after the Miss World pageant, it will be a better place.

4. If you have to choose a song to describe yourself, which would choose and why?
I would choose the song of  Jessie J – Who You Are. It describes the way I think.
“Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars.
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It's okay not to be okay,
Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart,
Tears don't mean you're losing, everybody's bruising,
There's nothing wrong with who you are!”

5. How would you describe a typical day in your life?
My days are very variable, I just graduated from school and currently I do no have any school obligations. This mean that I do have a lot of time for myself to do what I truly like and believe in. A typical day in my life is working in a store together with my friends, I do get involved in my community doing things for others, helping out where I can. I do follow certain seminars. Going to the gym is something that I do daily and I do find myself reading a lot.

6. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I wish that over 10 years I have accomplished almost all of my dreams and goals that I want to achieve in my life. Meaning that I would be a good role model for woman and youth in this world and that I do have the opportunity to design. But I rather stick to the present because that is going to be my ticket to “over 10 years” from now.

7. Which well known person from your country you most admire and why?
If I had to choose one person from my island that I most admire, it would be impossible. Because the one thing that makes my country special are its people. What I most admire from my island is the characteristics that gave birth to the words of our national anthem. The words that depict us ‘humble people who are always happy with a conduct appraised throughout’.
It is the gift of seeing the good in everything bad. Doing what is right when everything is wrong. Offering nothing but love even when all is forsaken. And doing it all courteously and with a smile. That is what I admire…

8. If you had to choose any other country to live in, which one would you choose and why?
There are so many countries and islands I would like to experience one day but I would go anywhere as long I can pursue my dreams and goals and where I am comfortable, safe and at peace.

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?
One thing is evident is that we have to eliminate our dependency on oil. In the present time the technology doesn’t allow us all to depend on only green energy. In meantime countries are forced to look for a different energy source some with devastating consequences like nuclear energy and its toxic radio active waste which is very dangerous for every living creature on this earth. That is why I am against use of this kind of energy. I prefer and truly hope that someday we all can power our household with green energy around the world.

10. What do you think is the worst kind of human injustice or prejudice happening now?
The worst kind of human injustice happening at the moment is nothing new. It is only in its optimum form. Bringing children to this world without being able to feed them, take care of them and giving them an education. Too many children are being abandoned and have to walk the streets to survive. And that’s why we live in a ‘dogs eat dog’ society where we are encouraged to be each others competitors and enemies instead of each others companion and friends. The ‘anything goes to make a buck’ living, and the ‘us against them’ mentality that is the root of all our differences.

11. What are your duties as Miss Bonaire?
To be a good ambassador for my island, also a goodwill ambassador, to promote my Island as much as I can and promote goodwill and charity organizations on my island, raise awareness of moral and ethical issues on my island. One of my other roles as Miss Bonaire is to be a role model for the youth and the woman on my island, letting them know that although Bonaire is a small island in the Caribbean we can follow our dreams and make our voice count in this world.

12. What role can social media (ex. Facebook, Twitter, etc) play in the life of a beauty pageant titleholder?
Worldwide free promotion of the titleholder and her country it is also a form of media which is followed especially by youth around the world. This type of media can be used by a pageant titleholder to communicate to others in the world, spread the word.

13. What does it mean to be a human being?
A human being means having the capacity to think, having the power to make decisions and to make changes if necessary. But also the ability to place yourself in someone else and work together to achieve great things.

14. What do you feel is your purpose in life?
My purpose in life is to reach out and touch somebody’s hand and make their world a better place if I can, to be an ambassador for my island besides this I also do believe that one other purpose in my life is to enjoy a positive and healthy life filled with love and mutual respect. Not letting fear restrict my life and always stay true to myself.

15. Share a message to your supporters and readers of the Times of Beauty.
I am just a girl with big dreams, and I’m sure I am not the only one in this world. But no matter what you go through or which obstacles comes along the road keep your eyes on your goals and dreams. Follow your heart. I appreciate all the ones who were and are there for me, and all the fans from around the world that I don’t even know but are rooting for me. Big warm hugs and kisses from Bonaire!

And finally...
Personal Motto: Never a Failure, always a lesson.
Personal Goal: Becoming a well known respected person in the fashion and entertainment industry. Someone that others can look up and relate to.
Personal Dream Destination: Wherever time and my decisions will take me.
Favorite Food: I just love food; I’m always open to try new dishes. But to name one, then it’s my grandmothers: “Piská ku Funchi”. It’s a local Bonairian food; (fish with a typical corn dish).
Favorite Color: Black and white.
Favorite Song: I just LOVE MUSIC!
Favorite Movie: I don’t have favorites but I enjoy watching movies.
Favorite Book: The Millennium Trilogy of Stieg Larsson
Favorite Singer/Band: I don’t have only 1 favorite, I like several artists such as Rihanna, Usher etc.
Favorite Actor/Actress: I like Morgan Freeman and Nicole Kidman
Favorite Hobby: Going to the beach, reading, photography, modeling, traveling and shopping.
Favorite Sport: I like fitness, biking, scuba diving and other water sports.

Julina Felida
, President Miss Bonaire Organization
Roderick Beaumont, Vice-President Miss Bonaire Organization
Benazir Berends Charles, Miss Bonaire 2010/2011

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