Kiwi Indian identity inspires mainstream media

Dharmesh Parikh – Dharmesh

It is a matter of gratification that the annual Miss Indianz extravaganza has been attracting the attention of the mainstream media, which in turn has been evincing the interest of the wider audience throughout New Zealand.

From the country’s largest newspaper and biggest television channels and regional media to community newspapers, our performers and participants are a source of admiration, love and respect.

Radio Tarana and Indian Newslink have been our media partners from the time I conceived the project and began preparations. That was in 2001. A year later, my dream became a colourful reality.

Social Media exposure

While more than 15,000 people have witnessed Miss Indianz since its inception 14 years ago, the cultural event now has a combined following of more than 10,000 on the social media platform. Almost 350 young women have so far taken part in the show, many of them pursuing successful careers in modelling, acting, and various other forms of show business and art.

Miss Indianz has become a symbolic event of Kiwi-Indians. I have seen contestants from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds participating in this event year after year. Besides gaining useful presentation and industry related skills, the contestants noticeably gain more self-confidence.

This is the longest running Bollywood and multicultural event in New Zealand.

Building relationships

I continue my quest to stage better events which provide an opportunity for us to connect to our roots whilst building stronger relationships within our communities.

You can witness beauty, brains, smartness, elegance and humour at our annual event which will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 730 pm at Aotea Centre in Auckland’s Central Business District.

Tickets will be available from August 1, 2016 from

For further details, please visit or call Dharmesh Parikh on 021-2727454; Email:

Here are the profiles of the next set of three Miss Indianz contestants – part of a journey that we began in our April 15, 2016. This is therefore our Eighth Instalment.

Mansi Patel

A Macleans College Year 13 student, Mansi Patel belongs to a traditional Gujarati family and believes that Miss Indianz would accord her the right opportunity to showcase her pure Indian culture.

Mansi is in the process of completing her Cambridge qualifications and hopes to graduate in the medical field.

“I am also interested in voluntary work and community service,” she said.

“Miss Indianz will boost my confidence and allow me to try something I have never experienced in my life. I believe in the famous saying, ‘What is easy will not be worth it; what is worth will not be easy.’ I look forward to this great event,” Mansi said.

Kashni Thakur

A Bachelor’s degree with Honours in Marketing and a postgraduate diploma in Human Resource have brought Kashni Thakur closer to the community and she has been under the spotlight for a while now.

As well as presenting a number of events, she won the ‘Miss Talented’ Title and the top prize in Dance and Debate competitions at the University.

“I want people to know me through Miss Indianz as a unique personality who carries Indian history on her shoulders and is happily spreading her wings into Kiwi culture. Best of both the worlds!  I am a giver in terms of love, support and friendship and hence this is a great platform to reach out to more girls like me,” she said.

Kashni is keen to be a guiding light for young women in raising their self-esteem and confidence, which she believes would in turn make her a confident and happy person.

“In addition, Miss Indianz will present opportunities to establish contact with people in the entertainment industry and further my passion in modelling, acting and dancing,” she said.

Yukta Panda

Acting, modelling and dancing are also areas of interest for Yukta Panda, a 16-year-old girl from Kolkata.

And like most other participants, she believes that Miss Indianz will be the vehicle to transport to the world that she longs to call her own.

A student of Mt Albert Grammar School (Year 12), Yukta takes her student life seriously, the proof of which is the ‘Scholar Badge’ that she has been consistently bringing home over the years.

“I am keen to combine my Kiwi-Indian culture and my passion for fashion. I want to express my true personality to the world and develop the experience and skills that I need to pursue my hobby,” Yukta said.

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