Miss Malaysia World 2010/11 Nadia Heng tells MEERA MURUGESAN what makes Valentine’s Day special. WITH her long, flowing brown hair, attractive Eurasian looks and super slim figure, Nadia Heng certainly turns heads.
Her exotic looks may be the first thing most men notice, but Heng, Miss Malaysia World 2010/11 is a very down-to-earth beauty for whom lavishness doesn’t spell romance and dating is not about putting on a show. Heng says what matters is not how much a man spends on a woman but the effort he puts into creating a memorable experience for her.
While many couples these days choose to splurge during Valentine’s Day, Heng says the most romantic gesture a man can make is to cook for his loved one and prepare a cosy setting at home for them to enjoy the day. “I think everything has gone ridiculously overboard and over priced these days on Valentine’s Day. When a husband or boyfriend makes the effort to cook a special meal at home, it’s so much more meaningful and if he’s actually a great cook, it’s even better!” says Heng, looking fresh and pretty in a short, floral print dress with an asymmetrical neckline.
Heng, who represented the country at the Miss World pageant in China last year, says her idea of a romantic Valentine’s Day meal would be Italian food, preferably a home-made pasta dish and a mouth-watering lemon meringue pie or any dessert with treacle on it. The perfect gift for Valentine’s would be perfume as Heng says it’s personal and signifies passion and romance.
She believes it’s important for couples to be affectionate and loving every single day but Valentine’s Day provides a nice excuse to make things even more special. “But I’m completely against men who treat their wives or girlfriends badly all the time and think they can compensate on Valentine’s Day,” says Heng, who’s a model, emcee, TV personality and also freelance public relations consultant.
Going to Hainan, China, to represent Malaysia at the pageant was a particularly sweet experience for Heng as her father is of Hainanese descent and his ancestral home is still there. She says she feels extremely blessed and thankful for the many new opportunities that have come her way since she was crowned Miss Malaysia/World.
Heng, who’ s single but attached says her days are certainly full but she and her boyfriend still manage to find time to be together, whether it’s catching up over coffee, enjoying a TV series together or going out for a movie. They don’t usually plan something for Valentine’s Day as they both like surprises and prefer to keep things spontaneous.
Heng says many young working women today claim they don’t have the time to meet Mr Right when in fact, that special someone could be right in front of them and they simply haven’t taken notice. “Sometimes, in our rushed, busy life, we become blind to our environment and we fail to notice the things around us. Love can actually come anywhere, anytime.”
She says women need to take a breath, step back and learn to appreciate what’s around them. This doesn’t mean they have to keep an “eagle’s eye” out for any potential love interest, but simply be open to meeting new people and to enjoy socialising. She adds that many women today are strong and independent but some wrongly assume that these characteristics stop them from finding love.
“I think being independent actually makes a woman more attractive to a man. He will respect her more and they can focus on building the relationship as equal partners. Only when this independence is taken to the extreme does it cause problems.”
Heng believes that men, on their part, need to understand that chivalry is one of the most appealing qualities to women.
Many men tend to be very attentive only when the relationship is fresh and new when in fact they should be that way all the time because women appreciate being made to feel special. “If a man wants to make himself appealing, this is the way to go. Women appreciate good manners and when a man is chivalrous, you know he’s been brought up well and knows how to treat a lady.”
Heng says she admires the close relationship her paternal grandparents have and their love for one another has remained strong throughout the years. During their time, the idea of romance and marriage was very different but they managed to stay together and make it work, a lesson younger couples should learn because many give up too easily on marriage or relationships.
Heng says in any relationship, it’s also important for a person to remain who they are and not end up completely wrapped up in their partner’s life. “Your partner shouldn’t be someone who completes you, but someone who complements you. That’s when you have a relationship that lasts.”