Call it Heritage Reconnection, not beauty junction

Swapna Parikh – 

From academics to sporting champs, career professionals to high school students, there are 26 beautiful and diverse women who share one common dream: to take home the coveted title of Miss Indianz 2016.

They do not have to wait long. In about two weeks, Bollywood will descend upon Auckland’s Aotea Centre for the much-anticipated Miss Indianz event.

Now in its 14th year, this event will be a visual extravaganza of glitz, glamour, fashion, music and dance.

Cultural engagement

A spectacular celebration of Kiwi-Indian culture, Miss Indianz will bring together women from mixed ethnic backgrounds to showcase their unique identities.

“It will boost my confidence and help me play a positive role in the community,” says nursing student and pageant contestant Karishma Patel.

“I hope to influence other young women of Indian origin to stand up and be proud of who they are and what they wish to achieve.”

For Auckland-born Natalie Nand, the event provides a great opportunity to reconnect with her Indian heritage.

“My identity was not very close to my roots while I was growing up,” says Natalie, who has a degree in Psychology and works as a mental health specialist.

“I started learning Hindi film dances and Bharata Natyam this year and decided to enter Miss Indianz as a way to engage with the Indian community and find out what it means to be a Kiwi-Indian.”

Specialist Organisation

Produced by specialist event company, Rhythm House and supported by Radio Tarana and Indian Newslink, Miss Indianz 2016 will be held on Saturday, September 17 at Aotea Centre in Auckland’s Central Business District.

While more than 500 people will be present at the venue, at least 10,000 others will follow the proceedings on social media.

After a traditional Maori welcome, festivities will begin with the ‘Kiwi Girl’ round, giving contestants a chance to showcase their love for New Zealand’s high fashion.

I believe that this segment captures the true spirit of Miss Indianz.

Since its establishment in 2002, we have opened the show with the Saree round but this year we want to emphasise more on our unique Kiwi-Indian identity.

We encourage our contestants to embrace Te Reo and Maori Tikanga, not just their native language; and aim to showcase not just Indian talent, but Kiwi-Indian talent.

This year’s contestants come from Queenstown, Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland.

They belong to mixed ethnic groups such as Tongan-Indian, Kiwi-Indian, Anglo-Indian and other communities.

Miss Indianz is all about celebrating their unique identities.

Tickets are available from www.aucklandlive.com

For further details, please visit www.rhythmhouse.co.nz or call Dharmesh Parikh on 021-2727454; Email: events@rhythmhouse.co.nz

Here are the profiles of the last set of two Miss Indianz contestants – part of a journey that we began in our April 15, 2016. This is therefore our tenth instalment (we seemed to have got the number wrong earlier!).

Bablin Kaur

Beauty and talent come with a heart as Bablin Kaur plans to help such deserving organisations as Kidney Kids NZ, SPCA and Auckland City Mission.

Born in a middle class family in Chandigarh, Bablin is keen to become independent and create a better environment for her family, relatives and friends.

“There are many people who are stressed for money.  I owe a lot to New Zealand and I hope to make a difference by helping my local community in every way possible. I believe in hard work,” she said.

A graduate (Bachelor’s degree) in Business (Accounting) from Unitec, she has qualifications from the University of Applied Sciences, Graz, Austria and ICL Business School in Auckland.

Bablin is a recipient of several trophies and awards for academic excellence while studying at the famous Doon Public School in India.

Simran Madan

A qualified dancer, Simran Madan strongly believes that Miss Indianz 2016 will be a turning point in her life and career.

The Auckland-born teenager scored high at her NCEA Levels 1 and 2 apart from becoming the Junior Champion in Latin, Ballroom and New Vogue dances last year. “Miss Indianz will help me to learn about communication and leadership skills. It creates learning experiences about building friendships and it is a great window of opportunity as it opens doors to modelling, acting and performing; these would enable me to contribute effectively to our larger community,” she said.

Inner beauty is more important, she said, adding, “The real woman should not only be beautiful but also be intelligent and capable of taking interest in various important issues around us.”

Swapna Parikh is Event Producer, Miss Indianz 2016.

Swapna Parikh is Event Producer, Miss Indianz 2016.

Miss Indianz

Now in its 14th Year

Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 730 pm

Aotea Centre, Auckland

Tickets available now

www.aucklandlive.com

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