SIAM: Love in the Green House

Since 1934, when a yearly beauty contest became the main attraction of Siam's Constitutional Day celebration, a new aspiration in life has opened for young Siamese females. The lucky one who is chosen Nangsao Thai (Miss Thailand) becomes for a year the first girl in the land and is showered with invitations to parties, big events, temple fairs, football matches. At the end of the year, Miss Thailand makes a brilliant marriage and, presumably, lives happily thereafter. The sole exception to this rule in 18 years has been Riam Pesayanavin, Miss Thailand of 1939.

To the surprise of her many...

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