By Stephen I. Diaz

Luxembourg is back!  What a welcome treat for pageant fans to have tiny European monarchy in a Big 4 pageant this year!  And what is even more welcoming is the fact that they will be represented by a woman of color, the ebony beauty, Corinne Semedo Furtdao, who is of Cape Verdean descent.    So, one might wonder why would someone from Cape Verde represent the Grand Duchy in Miss International 2013?

Well, the immigration population in Luxembourg increased in the 20th Century due to the arrival of immigrants from its neighboring countries.  What is rather interesting is the fact that a huge percentage of these new immigrants are from Portugal, which is not even an immediate neighbor of Luxembourg.  There is even a joke that in every 10 Luxembourgers that you meet on the street, one of them can speak Portuguese fluently. Now, one of the many former colonies of Portugal is the island country of Cape Verde  in the Atlantic Ocean, just 570 kilometers off  the coast of West Africa.   So to make the long story short, it won’t be surprising if someone from Cape Verde may have moved to Portugal, and from Portugal, they moved to Luxembourg.  It is also possible that direct migration from the islands to Luxembourg may have happened.

But, our Miss International Luxembourg is very much a Luxembourger as a bouneschlupp.  She is the first Miss Luxembourg at Miss International since 1996.   After almost 17 years of absence, we get to see a great representative who is ready to introduce the modern day Lëtzebuer to the rest of the world .  Let’s get to know about her even better in this edition of Beauty Talks.


1.Please tell us about yourself, your family background and your ambition in life.

Corinne as a little girl

My name is Corinne Semedo Furtado. I’m 20 years of age. I have a diploma in administrative and commercial division. Actually, I’m studying to be a social worker later, because I really like to help people.
I grew up in a very united and supportive family, with my mother and father, and with my older brother and sister. I have the chance to have a family who is always behind me and supports me in every decision I make. As a child till now, I’ve never missed of anything and that’s why I’m so thankful for that. I’m very blessed to have a family like that.
When I was eight years old I started to do artistic gymnastics and then I stopped to start dancing ballet and jazz at the conservatory of Luxembourg.  Dancing is my biggest passion and today I couldn’t live without it.
Later I would like to work with an association to help poor children, because this problem is constantly growing and it’s important to help them because everybody deserves a chance to live in peace and lacking in nothing . What I really want to, is to live every dream I have, so later I won’t live in regrets.

2. Describe to us, in three words, your country, and what is something about it that you are most proud of?

Corinne, her mother and older sister

If I had to describe my country in three words it would be, diversity, nature and welcome.
Something I’m most proud of, is that Luxembourg is a very multicultural country. Everybody gets the chance to build a stable life no matter the origin of the people. It is a very helpful country, we have many helps for the refugees, the migrants and all the people who don’t have the possibilities to build a stable life.
Secondly Luxembourg is a very beautiful country, because of it’s nature, it is very green especially in the summer, we have very beautiful Landscapes and impressive views.


3. If we were to visit your country, where do you recommend us to visit and why?

If you were to visit my country, I would recommend you to visit the whole country, because Luxembourg is very little, so there is no problem in visiting it. “The Gëlle fraa” wich is a statue which honours the courage of the 2000 Luxembourg volunteers in the second world war, “the Castle of Vianden”, “the Palace” where the grand duke lives occasionally, “the Moselle” where all the grapes are harvested to produce Luxembourgish wine and “the Grund”, wich is the downtown of Luxembourg. I would recommend you to visit those places because you will learn more about the Luxembourgish history and culture and of course those places are very beautiful.

Luxembourg is a great destination with a mix of the modern and old, as well as lots of green.


4. A lot of people criticize beauty pageants as being irrelevant in today’s society. What is your opinion about that?

I think the people have a bad image of beauty pageants. They think it’s all about artifice, beauty and most of all they think that beauty and intelligence don’t fit, but that is not right. For me beauty pageants gives the chance to girls to show everyone, that you can be beautiful, intelligent and have specific goals in life. Most of all that the delegates are interested in the world’s problems and is willing to give a help.

Corinne is a talented dancer

5. Tell us about your preparation for the Miss International pageant, and what do you look forward to in Japan?

I’m very nervous, because this is my first international pageant, but I’m so honoured and happy for this. I have a lot of support of my family, my friends and even from people I don’t know so it is very encouraging. I’m really excited to travel to Japan, it’s a country I always wanted to visit and now I have the chance to do it. I’m very impatient to learn about a culture wich is completely different from mine. I’m looking forward to make new friends with all the delegates of the different countries who’ll be there.

6. The Miss International Beauty Pageant has the tradition of holding the “International Forum” where you as delegates will discuss about world problems, as well as your personal advocacy. What do you think is the biggest social problem facing women today, and as a beauty queen, what can you do to solve it?

I think the biggest problem today, is the that women are so underrated. We can see it when it comes to work. Why can’t women have the same place as a man or when they do, they don’t get the same income? We are also able to do the same work as a man. The problem is that we live in a men’s world and unfortunately they think women aren’t smart enough, or strong enough to face important decision or solve problems. The saddest thing is that some think, women’s places are at home and I think that is not right. As a beauty queen I can show to every women that if they have goals in life they should go for it, because they have the possibilities. I want to fight for gender equality. Everybody should be treated the same way.

7. In your own words, describe an ideal “Miss International”?

For me an ideal “Miss International” is someone who is responsible and who is determined. Miss International should not just look good, but she has to have a great personalty, goals in life, a good education, be cultivated and over all she has to love social relations. She has to be an icon for the young ladies nowadays and prove them that, if they are strong enough to chase their dreams they will reach their goals. She has to highlight the image and the value of a woman by showing all these qualities. With all this she has to show to the world, that the real beauty of a person comes from inside.