From garbage and alms to beauty pageant queen
'Dreams can come true if we have self-confidence'
No matter where they are born, a person can make their dreams come true if they have determination and self-confidence is the credo of Miss Universe Thailand 2022 Anna Sueangam-iam - and she is living proof.
Her parents were Bangkok city garbage collectors and she grew up with her great grandmother, who was a Buddhist lay nun, or mae chee.
Anna, 23, won the crown on Saturday night.
She said her parents worked for the Bangkok City Administration. Her father worked on a garbage truck, while her mother held two jobs - as a city street sweeper and also as a maid. She grew up familiar with piles of garbage and her toys were the broken and discarded ones her loving parents picked up and fixed for her.
During her childhood she had never gone out like other children and piles of garbage were the only outdoor places she became familiar with, while accompanying her father to work on his green garbage truck.
She had also grown up living off alms, because her late great grandmother had been a Buddhist nun and fed her from the food she received from devotees while taking care of her in place of her hard-working parents, who put her through school.
The religious teachings of her great grandmother had also guided her life, Anna said.
"Don't be limited to where you are born. With enough determined we can change our life," Anna said during the recent pageant.
She said she was still getting over the shock of winning the Miss Universe Thailand 2022 title.
"Today is proof to everyone that no matter where we are born, we can be successful and make our dreams come true if we have the self-confidence," she said.
Anna said that her parents had never compromised their love for her, and the love of her parents and her great grandmother had been the great force that led to her success.
Anna is a graduate, with first-class honours, of the faculty of liberal arts and sciences, Kasetsart University.