Recently-crowned Miss Việt Nam 2020, Đỗ Thị Hà, shared her thoughts with Việt Nam News just a few short days after winning the crown - the first woman from north-central Thanh Hóa Province to do so.
Inner Sanctum: What went through your mind when you heard your name called out as the new Miss Việt Nam?
When I entered the pageant, I really couldn’t imagine getting close to winning. So, when the MC called my name, I was stunned for a few seconds. I closed my eyes and tried to let it sink in. Even the next morning, after not much sleep, it still felt like a dream. Yesterday I was just a contestant, but today I am Miss Việt Nam? It was surreal.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Miss Việt Nam 2020, Đỗ Thị Hà. Photo ngoisao.vn
Inner Sanctum: Do you think a warm heart or a cold mind makes a person happy?
A cold mind may bring success, but only a warm heart can make us happy and give life meaning. I think that in order to have the perfect life, we must learn how to balance a warm heart and a cold mind, as both are equally important.
Inner Sanctum: How did you find the different rounds of the pageant? Did you ever feel discouraged by what was involved?
By the qualifying round, I could see that all of the contestants had the potential to win. But I didn’t view anyone as my opponent. I just tried to be the best possible version of myself.
When I reached the semi-finals, I realised I wasn’t as well prepared as some of the other contestants. I felt a little vulnerable. But then I coaxed myself into gaining some confidence. Though I wasn’t as well prepared, I made twice the effort.
I didn’t tell my parents I had entered the Miss Việt Nam pageant. My friends encouraged me to do something special while I was young. And now I’ve won, it really is an incredible memory that I’ll have forever.
I’m a fairly independent person. I didn’t want my parents to be concerned about me entering the pageant and going through everything that’s involved. If I’m doing something I’m not absolutely sure about, I don’t tell my parents. I used my savings to cover the cost of entering, so they were none the wiser early on.
Inner Sanctum: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Sincere, innocent, and friendly.
Inner Sanctum: You are the smallest in your family. Do you think that shapes your character?
My parents had three kids but no one was ever given priority. They taught us to be independent and be the master of ourselves. It’s not so amazing, really. Since we were small, they let us try things for ourselves, to draw lessons for what may follow.
Inner Sanctum: The next step for you is representing Việt Nam at Miss World 2021. Do you feel ready for this new challenge?
As I said, I never expected to become Miss Việt Nam, so I can honestly say I don’t know anything about what the Miss World pageant entails. But it probably requires catwalk skills, speaking English, and the ability to present myself favourably. I will spend some time on those skills so I’m prepared.
I will also take part in various charity activities in the central region and in my homeland, presenting scholarships to students in need.
GLITTERING CROWN: Hà (seated), with first runner-up Phạm Ngọc Phương Anh (left) and second runner-up Nguyễn Lê Ngọc Thảo. Photo eva.vn
Inner Sanctum: How would you describe yourself?
I have a good sense of humour and a lot of energy. My friends feel inspired by my energy and want to be just as active. On the night I won the crown, my two friends who had gone with me to HCM City cried more than I did. I actually didn’t cry at all, and I’ll tell you why. I think people can express sorrow and happiness with gestures, facial expressions, and their eyes, not only by crying.
I’ve already had to change a little. Now I’m Miss Việt Nam, there’s a standard of behaviour I must take note of. It’s just something I will have to get used to.
Inner Sanctum: At 19, you’re still quite young. Are you in a relationship? What do you consider to be the ideal man?
I’m still single. I have my preferences in a man. The one I marry must have a warm character. He should be sincere and interesting. I really like interesting men.
Inner Sanctum: So, what’s your plan for the long term? Will you stay in Hà Nội or move to HCM City?
I’m in my second year of studies at the University of National Economics. I will talk to the organisers of Miss Việt Nam about balancing my time between studies, charity work, and preparing for Miss World. My long-term purpose is to graduate, which is the basic foundation of my future. I know I will have to try and win the hearts of many more people over the next year, who may have their doubts about me being crowned. But if I remain sincere, I believe people will understand me and support me. VNS