Sixty contestants from 16 ethnic minority groups are competing at the 2013 Miss Ethnic Vietnam Pageant’s semi-final round held for the North, which opened in Hanoi on May 20.

According to the organisers, the pageant, the third of its kind, attracted more than 1,000 girls from 35 ethnic minority groups in 45 provinces across Vietnam.

A similar semi-final round for the South will take place in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau from May 29-31.

The final of the pageant is scheduled for Hoi An city, central Quang Nam province from June 22-26.

This year’s beauty pageant is organised by the Quang Nam Provincial People’s Committee and the International Trade Fair and Advertisement Joint-stock Company CIAT.

It aims to honour the beauty of Vietnamese ethnic minority girls in efforts to popularise the image of the country’s 54 ethnic groups and their cultures to foreign tourists.-VNA