HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Chinese Chamber of Commerce crowned a new queen over the weekend.
Jamie Ming See Lee was one of nine contestants vying for the title of 2020 Narcissus Queen at the Hawaii Theatre Saturday.
Her jazz performance to ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ in the talent competition, paired with her onstage presence and well-rounded resume earned her the crown. She is now getting ready to embark on a year-long experience as a cultural ambassador.
“Being the Narcissus Queen really means you are representing the Chinese community in Hawaii. And to me, one of my goals is to really encourage others to learn about their past and ancestry, just like how I did during this pageant,” Lee said.
“For me, it was definitely a journey about growth, and being more comfortable in your shoes,” she added.
She and her court will also fly to China to learn more about the roots of their culture.
Lee is an Iolani School and UH Manoa alumna. She holds her bachelor’s degree in communications and works as a marketing coordinator for the Queen’s Health System.
Dance is also a passion for Lee. She was a dedicated member of the Iolani Dance Team for 12 years, and later moved on to become a UH Rainbow Warrior dancer.
During the journey of preparing for the pageant, Lee said it was an opportunity to learn about her family and experience the Chinese culture like never before. She reflected on those who came before her and the legacy they left.
“My grandpa actually came to Hawaii with just 25 cents. And so, he worked so hard at Kapahulu Chop Suey for years before he established our family restaurant, Hee Hing. And with that money, he was able to bring over my grandmother, his in-laws, and the rest of the Lee family,” she said.
She says even though the restaurant closed a few years back, the spirit lives on in the family recipes that have been passed down. Her favorite: The minute chicken cake noodle.
Lee along with the members of her court will appear at upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year events around the island. One celebration will be held on Jan. 17 and 18 at the Chinese Cultural Plaza.