Letter From Jakarta

Once considered taboo, Indonesia's beauty pageants lift youth out of poverty

Without the thousands of dollars earned from pageants and modelling gigs, Ms Andina Yulianti, who was crowned Miss Grand Indonesia 2022, could not have hoped to go to university. PHOTO: YAYASAN DUNIA MEGA BINTANG
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JAKARTA - Ms Andina Yulianti found her life transformed virtually overnight after being crowned the winner of Miss Grand Indonesia, a prestigious national pageant, earlier this year.

Growing up, the daughter of rubber tappers from a remote village in Sumatra's Palembang regency earned some pocket money by modelling and singing at cafes.

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