A glamorous model with her trademark pixie crop, H’hen Niê has a tendency to turn heads. But Miss Vietnam’s incredible rise from village life to beauty queen helped her win hearts all round the world. And her winning quality is her beautiful approach to life.
Niê was born in a village community in the province of Dak Lak in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, and is a member of the Rade ethnic group. She had to fight against poverty and also broke away from her small community to study in Ho Chi Minh City. She then became a successful model and started competing on the beauty pageant circuit.
The ethnic group to which Niê belongs number just over 270,000 people, out of a population in Vietnam of 95 million. And the community is just one of 54 of such groups in Vietnam. Historically the Rade communities reside in Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen province, and their homes traditionally sit on stilts.