Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2011 Meet the Misses v.44 - Frøken Norge 2011

Norway is a long and mostly narrow country, with great variations between its regions. The most spectacular fjords are in the west, the clearest traces of medieval times are to be found in central Norway, while the midnight sun is in the north. Few places in the world offer such magnificent scenery as the fjords of western Norway. Many of them are deep and narrow, with mountains rising sheer out of the water and waterfalls cascading from great heights. But you will also find more open fjords, where rich farmland and fisheries have created prosperous communities. Stretches of the fjord and mountain areas of the west coast of Norway are on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Bold colors and fresh air lead many to declare these areas among the most beautiful anywhere in the world. Central Norway has played a key role in Norway’s history.  The battle fought at Stiklestad in 1030 was a turning point for the Christianization of the country. Nidaros, the original name for Trondheim, was the political, religious and commercial center of the country and a destination for pilgrims for more than four centuries during the Middle Ages. Nidaros Cathedral is the largest medieval structure in Scandinavia, and boasts some magnificent sculptures and beautiful stained-glass windows. Trondheim is noted for its wooden buildings, and many of the oldest line the harbor and the river, testifying to the city’s long commercial history.  To the east lies the very well-preserved mining town of Røros. The town, with its unique church and some hundred beautiful wooden houses, is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. In northern Norway, the midnight sun sheds its clear light on dramatic island formations, deep fjords, snow-capped mountains, lush pastures and vast moors. In spite of its northerly latitude, northern Norway enjoys a mild climate thanks to the temperate waters of the Gulf Stream. The region is home of Tromsø is often called the Paris of the North. Southern Norway is home of small towns and villages well protected by the rocky offshore islands. Waiting inland, though not far from the coast, are mountains and valleys, lakes for freshwater fishing, tranquil forests and upland moors. Eastern Norway boasts a varied landscape ranging from flat, rolling farmland to dramatic, towering mountains. It is in this region that you’ll find the capital, Oslo, as well as Norway’s oldest town, Tønsberg. Norway debuted  in Miss World 1953 and finished second place in 1972 and fourth place in 2002. Last year, Mariann Birkedal finished in sixth place and was the favorite for the crown. This year, Norway will be represented by Anna Larsen Zahl, Frøken Norge 2011.

The Times of Beauty proudly presents Anna Larsen Zahl, Frøken Norge 2011, in an exclusive interview for our interview series, Meet the Misses.

1. Give us an introduction of yourself.
My name is Anna Zahl, I am 23 years old and from Northern Norway. I am the winner of the Miss Norway 2011 competition. I have always been an outgoing and energetic person who loves to be social and get to know new people. People might describe me as humble, kind and with a good sense of humor. I am a good listener, and I therefore know a thing or two about a lot of stuff. I cherish moments with my family and embrace all opportunities to be generous and giving to other people. I love to travel and experience different cultures. So far, I have been to every continent except Australia.

2. Tell us a bit more about your country and hometown.
Norway is a country blessed by beautiful nature and it is a good fortune to have natural resources in great abundance. No matter where in Norway one will never be far away from a beautiful forest, mountaintop or a fjord. The people of Norway are characterized as nice and caring and we show interest for other people; But we are not quite as outgoing compared to other countries. My hometown is named Sortland. It is a small city with approximately eleven thousand inhabitants. Sortland is in northern Norway and as well as the beautiful nature it is possible to experience the northern light. The city has gotten the title the blue city by the coast". This is because of  a wonderful local artist Bjoern Elvenes, who inspired the the inhabitants to put Sortland on the map by painting our houses blue. Another artist, a famous writer named Lars Saaby Christensen have written poems and citations on the downtown houses.

3. What does it mean to you to represent your country at the 61st Miss World finals?
I am very honored to represent Norway at the 61st Miss World finals. It means the world to me to have a chance to participate in the competition and get the Miss World title. I am very happy that the Norwegian people have faith in me to be a representative for our country. I will continue being myself and give all the positive energy I have to succeed in the Miss World competition.

4. How would you describe a typical day in your life?
A typical day for me is getting up relatively early, go jogging, have breakfast and work at a flower shop. Whatever spare time I have, I spend it with friends, family or by going to the gym. I do read and keep myself updated with the news on a daily basis as well. At the moment I don't study but I look forward to be a student soon.

5. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I see myself being done with my studies and having a job I really enjoy. Maybe I will have my own company. I wish to be able to work internationally, since I still enjoy traveling so much. I want a home in Norway with my boyfriend/husband. I love to be surrounded by kids and to care for kids. So hopefully I will have children of my own in 10 years from now.

6. Which well known person from your country you most admire and why?
Gro Halem Brundtland. Norway's first female prime minister who left a mark on Norwegian politics from the mid-1970s. Gro Harlem Brundtland's "women's government", who was appointed 9 May 1986, became a worldwide sensation. 8 of the 18 cabinet members were women. They got their name engraved on a monument built in Sakai girls' school in Osaka, Japan. As head of the UN environmental commission, she brought environmental policy higher on the agenda in many countries, and she attended major international conferences with a conscious effort to elevate the status of women globally. In Norway, equality between men and women was a topic of great importance. Women ministers were as common as male. Gro Harlem Brundtland is the Norwegian prime minister who has engaged the most in international work. She did a great deal of work to improve the female status in our society and therefore I greatly admire her.

7. If you had to choose any other country to live in, which one would you choose and why?
I choose USA because I like the diversity of the country, the language and the people there. I admire the country's spirit when it comes to sports and think it's great that there is so much focus on sports teams and other culture-based education to children from a young age. I would really like to live there for a couple of years maybe, but I think Norway is the home to my heart.

8. 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 am in favor of nuclear energy. It is an important technology to minimize pollution caused by the oil industry.
It will be a major venture if nuclear energy technology is improved and nuclear power plants are being placed where earthquakes can't occur. The radioactive waste caused by nuclear energy is the biggest problem,
but, they are pollution free and there has only been 3 incidents taking lives since the first power plant was built in 1951. And one of the incidents was caused by mother nature. We are in bigger risk of being killed taking the bus or driving a car.

9. What do you think is the worst kind of human injustice or prejudice happening now?
July 22 a Norwegian extremist performed a terrorist attack, killing 77 people. To see how much this affected the Norwegian people and touched so many is devastating. Thinking about how a person can do such a terrible act is unintelligible. I think terrorism and extremism is cruel and evil and I wish no one to experience the pain and sorrow the entire people of Norway felt on July 22. I also think that the worst kind of human injustice or prejudice is the uneven allocation of resources. A unfair percentage of the population is below the poverty line.

10. What are your duties as Frøken Norge?
My duties are to be a good representative for Norway in the Miss World pageant and also be a good role model for girls in Norway. I wish to present to people a healthy lifestyle and myself as a positive person with good morals. I hope to work with media to reach out to people and show that goals can be reached if you work hard enough.

11. What role can social media (ex. Facebook, Twitter, etc) play in the life of a beauty pageant titleholder?
Social media can bring a lot of positivity and support for a pageant titleholder, and one can receive good advice and be enlightened. I personally have only gotten good feedback and I am stunned by all the e-mails and messages on Facebook. I assume there can also be negative sides to the social media, such as nonconstructive criticism. But I think for most parts people can be happy for others, and that is the positive thing about social media.

12. What does it mean to be a human being?
To be a human being is to feel empathy and have respect for others. People who fail to respect others and make egoistical actions are still a human beings. BUT "the term" human being for me means that you are a fellow human being who can live in harmony with other people and treat people the way you want people to treat you.

13. What do you feel is your purpose in life?
It is funny how the human race has come to be thinking and intelligent individuals who has developed other purposes in life than reproducing which is the main natural purpose for all other living organisms. My interests and morals guides me to think that my purpose in life is to be happy and make others happy as well.

14. Share a message to your supporters and readers of The Times of Beauty.
It is so important to me to feel the support and know that I can inspire others to reach out for their goals.
With this title I will do my very best to show my kindness, spirit and determination to help others wherever I can. I'm so excited to meet up with contestants, jury and all the people involved with the Miss World pageant. I feel blessed to be a part of this experience and I truly appreciate all the support so far, and I thank everyone who will support me on my way to this fantastic and eventful happening in London.

and finally...
Personal Motto: Be who you are and say what you will, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind
Personal Goal: Live a long and healthy life with many goals achieved along the way.
Personal Dream Destination: Los Angeles, USA
Favorite Food: Modern Asian fusion cooking
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Song: Mitt lille land
Favorite Movie: Gran Torino
Favorite Book: Chinese Cinderella
Favorite Singer/Band: Kings of Leon
Favorite Actor/Actress: Clint Eastwood
Favorite Hobby: Singing, modeling, fitness. Its hard to pick just one.
Favorite Sport: Soccer and Basketball

Geir Hamnes and Daniel Hamnes, Frøken Norge Directors
The Frøken Norge Organization
Anna Larsen Zahl
Frøken Norge 2011

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