Saturday, October 8, 2011

2011 Meet the Misses v.35 - Señorita Kòrsou 2011

Curaçao was discovered in 1499 by the Spanish explorer Alfonso de Ojeda. In 1634, long after the Spanish had abandoned Curaçao, the Dutch West Indies Company claimed the island. There are different theories for the origins of the word Curaçao. The most likely explanation stems from the Spanish calling the island "Corazón" (Heart) at some point. The famous Portuguese mapmakers adopted this word into their own language as "Curaçau" or "Curaçao." Curaçao forged a vibrant and rich culture rooted in history. The island’s heritage is both European and African, representing more than 50 nationalities. The islanders speak Dutch, Spanish, and English as well as a local language, Papiamento, a colorful Creole dialect. Although the island is a mix of nationalities, African descendents make up the majority. This influence is especially prevalent in the language of Papiamento. There are other areas as well, such as food, religion, and spirituality. These Caribbean African traditions, introduced in the late 1600s, continue to influence the island to this day. Curaçao is home for a large Jewish community has had an extraordinary impact on the island's economy, politics, and culture. Between the blues of the sky and sea, Curaçao’s historical architecture stands out for its uniqueness. There is wide array of lovely, bright colors enhancing the outside walls of Curaçao historic homes and buildings, particularly in Willemstad, one of the most photographed cityscapes in the Caribbean and one of six UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Caribbean. The Punda District along with its neighboring districts of Otrobanda, Pietermaai, Scharloo, preserve some 765 buildings as national monuments. Chief among these are Fort Amsterdam, the Governor’s Palace, Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue and the colorful Penha building on the waterfront. Curaçao's total surface area is 444 square kilometers. The stretched northern coast of the island is characterized by rough limestone cliff formations set on top of volcanic rock and weather-beaten terrain. At the western end of the island you will find expansive, hilly landscapes. The Christoffel Park encompasses most of the landscapes and is home of highest point on the island the 375 meter high Mt. Christoffel. The east end of the island comprises flat and mostly barren plains, with few settlements and some secondary roads weaving to and from its coastal inlets. Curaçao debuted in Miss World 1975 and reached the semifinals once in 2002 with Ayanette Statia. Monifa Joanne-Marie Jansen will represent the Caribbean island in Miss World 2011.

The Times of Beauty proudly presents Monifa Joanne-Marie Jansen, Señorita Kòrsou 2011, in an exclusive interview for our interview series, Meet the Misses.

1. Give us an introduction of yourself.
I consider myself a very unique young woman, though it feels as if I can identify myself with all sorts of people, from all sorts of backgrounds. I will always give out a helping hand, but never expect anything in return. I’m always on a positive mood and if I notice someone else is having a less pleasant day, I will be sure to make his/her day a little bit better. I’m very simple, humble and always looking for the best in others around me as for in myself. I respect and support everybody’s decision, even if it means contradicting my own. I strongly believe in the phrase “life is what you make it”, because I’m living proof of it every given day. I see myself as a very caring and soulful person, putting the needs of others before my own. I take nothing for granted, but tend to make every moment count. Coming from a family that has always shown me a lot of love and support in every decision I had to make, I’ve grown to be very family oriented. Family is very important to me and comes first in every occasion. I’m not afraid of a little challenge and change is a big word in my vocabulary. Growing as a person to me means gaining on knowledge and experience, which is one of my favorite things to do. I’m always open to meeting new people and getting to know different cultures. I see myself as very independent and acquainted of my surroundings, which I consider very rare for a girl my age. I live hoping that someday someone might consider me his/her role model.

2. Tell us a bit more about your country and hometown.
Curaçao is obviously small in range, but anyone that has ever been or lived on the island would agree with me on the fact that it’s full of surprises. Many years ago, the island was colonized and used for slavery and slave trade. Many of our traditions and believes reflect on the habits of the Africans that were shipped to the island. Not long before their arrival, the island was inhabited by indians. The gathering of these two ethnicities, along with the European affiliation, was the cause of the population Curaçao knows today. About 80 percent of all habitants speak three or four languages, which in most cases are English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamentu, with the last being our native language, which elders say is a combination of French, Portuguese and Dutch. Apart from a great history, Curaçao has a lot more to offer to a tourist. By many it’s considered the perfect destination, because of its central positioning between the Caribbean islands. And if the beautiful white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, mountains of all heights and forms, flora and fauna, and charming people aren’t enough reasons to visit more than once, I don’t know what is. The Curaçao Port is known for both business and tourist attractions. It’s situated in the central of the island, and the reason this Port is very famous, is because it’s hand-made. By the hands of God that is. Curaçao is also famous for its “Carnaval”. It’s one of the biggest and longest lasting Carnavals in the world. The west end of the island is also characterized by expansive, hilly terrain, most of it encompassed by Christoffel Park. The Mt. Christoffel, at 1,239 feet, is the highest elevation on Curacao. The east end of the island comprises flat and mostly barren plain, with few settlements and some secondary roads weaving to and from its coastal inlets. With an average 20 inches of rainfall yearly, Curacao is generally a dry island. There are few standing bodies of water save some saline ponds, and most of the island's water is provided by a large desalinization plant found on the south coast.
I come from a small town in the Northern part of the island. It’s at walking distance from the airport. There aren’t a lot of attractions in the neighborhood and the people are very traditional.

3. What does it mean to you to represent your country at the 61st Miss World finals?
In my opinion, it takes a strong, dedicated and none the less beautiful woman, who’s capable of using that beauty to enable positive actions, to obtain the title of Miss World. And with beauty, I meant both from the inside and out, which is a possession a truly admire in myself and I’m astonished that the Miss Curacao organization did too. Just to have been given the chance to compete in this prestigious pageant with beautiful girls from all over the world is a great honor, and anyone of us would be very lucky to receive this award.

4. If you had to choose a song to describe yourself, which would you choose and why?
The song that would best describe me is Fighter by Christina Aguilera. Not only because Christina is one of my favorite performers, but the title of the song truly characterizes me in every way possible. And this past year I’ve learned that, while most people are afraid of challenges and difficulties, it’s really those obstacles that a make a person stronger. I would honestly not choose this song if it were about my favorite song, but it’s the perfect song to describe myself.

5. How would you describe a typical day in your life?
I consider every day a gift. A gift unfortunately not everybody gets. So I tend not to waste any minute of it. By the end of every day I love to look back and notice that I’ve actually learned something new. Therefore I do not like to repeat my days, but engage in different things and taking advantage of the opportunity as it shows up. It’s when you lose that one person that you most cared about, that you realize that nobody lives forever and that life really is short, so I believe in making the best out of any and every situation.

6. Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
Ten years is not a short period of time, in which anything can happen. But what I’m hoping to get out of the next ten years of my life are my master’s degree in International Law, a loving family and lots of new experiences. After earning my master degree I will probably be working it that field, which means that I will immediately fulfill my passion of traveling around the world, getting in touch with different cultures. I’ve always wanted to become a young mother, in order to get the most out of my children’s lives. Therefore I would hopefully have started my own family. For my Beauty with a Purpose project, I’ve had the opportunity to take part of various organizations that focus on humanitarian and environmental work to either give a speech or interact with the public, and it felt like something that I was meant to do. So hopefully in ten years, I will still be practicing that wonderful act.

7. Which well-known person from your country you most admire and why?
Coming from a small island, I don’t think that there are many well-known people to choose from. But one person every generation growing up heard and learned about, because he had a great influence on how colored people were perceived, especially on local terms, is Tula. Of course the name would not be familiar to you if you haven’t lived on the island, because Tula was in fact a slave. He, along with Bestiaan Carpata and Pedro Wacao were the leaders of the biggest slave revolution Curaçao has ever known, which also caused the abolishment of slavery and the slave trade on the island. A hardworking, motivated and righteous person such as Tula is definitely somebody I’m very proud to say that I admire.

8. If you had to choose any other country to live in, which one would you choose and why?
That would actually be a very though choice to make, because of the endless amount of wonderful and exciting countries in the world. Not to mention, they are all unique and therefor rich in beauty and possibilities. But if I had to choose one place to experience on a more permanent basis, it would have to be home. Up until now, Curaçao has been the place that I could return to and call home. The place that no matter where I go will always be in my memory. There is no place like it, because it’s where I was a born and raised and where I remember having the best time in my life. Everything I need in life is at that place, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

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?
Nuclear energy is in fact a great way to alternate and reduce the use of oil as energy distribution and for instance Japan has had no negative remark on this kind of energy in the past until the earthquake took place. But it’s at times like these when you ask yourself if it’s worth the risk, because that it is indeed what it is. I say we can live without it. If it’s something that can form a big danger for a large amount of people, especially if it’s the consequence of a force that can hardly be predicted nor anticipated such as an earthquake, it might be better to start searching for other alternatives in order to stop overusing oil, which on the long run can also turn into a battle for survival.

10. What do you think is the worst kind of human injustice or prejudice happening now?
Any kind of human injustice or prejudice is bad, because it regards human beings. And unfortunately, we have a lot facing the world today. But the worst in my opinion would be crimes against humanity. During wartime, individuals sometimes perform acts that violate the rules of just war set forth in international law. When soldiers engage in wars of aggression, attack non-combatants or pursue their enemies beyond what is reasonable, they commit not acts of war, but acts of murder. However, these are not the only injustices associated with war and protracted conflict. Such conflict can also lead to severe human rights violations, including genocide, torture, and slavery. These crimes violate individuals' most basic rights to life and physical safety.

11. What are your duties as Señorita Kòrsou?
Along with the title, comes the immediate responsibility to represent your country internationally. To be able to do that properly, you have to become a role model and give good examples, in order to have the full support of your country. It’s a job as any other, therefor motivation is key. As the face of your country, and spokesperson for big alliances internationally, your presence at big events both locally or even in other countries is required. And last but certainly not least, the way you present yourself is of great importance.

12. What role can social media play in the life of a beauty pageant titleholder?
It can either break you, or it can make you, but one thing is certain, the media is there to stay and as a pageant titleholder and somebody who’s life is determined on what people see or read about it, it’s up to you to use it properly. Being a beauty queen, you already have a positive light lighten onto you. You have to be able to use that light to make other positive things in life a reality.

13. What does it mean to be a human being?
Being human means having flaws and faults, because we are all human and we all do. But being a human being means looking past that flaw and accepting reality. Not everybody has the ability to enroll in all life’s expectations, but one thing everyone has equally is the right of happiness. A human being would make sure that all that surrounds him/her has that feeling of happiness and comfort. Because life can be less pleasant at times, but it’s the people in it that makes you want to live that extra second.

14. What do you feel is your purpose in life?
One of my talents and things I enjoy doing the most when the time is right, is making people laugh. There are so many awful things happening in the world every day, which brings so much pain and suffering along with it. But that one moment of pure joy when you’re laughing your pants off makes all the negative disappear. It makes me happy to see other people happy, and I love being happy. So I think that is definitely my purpose in life: serving people with happiness. And what can I say? I’m good at it too!

and finally...
Personal Motto: “Life is what you make it!”
Personal Goal: Achieving personal growth and success
Favorite Food: Local cuisine, such as “tutu ku bakiyou” and “funchi ku piska”
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Song: “Everytime” by Britney Spears
Favorite Movie: Titanic
Favorite Book: The Kite Runner
Favorite Singer: Beyoncé
Favorite Actor/Actress: Denzel Washington / Julia Roberts
Favorite Hobby: Entertaining
Favorite Sport: Tennis

Henny Reinilla, National Director of Miss World in Curaçao
Monifa Joanne-Marie Jansen
, Señorita Kòrsou 2011

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The Times of Beauty Est. 2008