Newest Miss America has Indian roots- The good and bad of it.
I am in New Delhi, India as I write this and my city has been practically taken over by America (in a good way- I hasten to add) and I'm loving it.
I just demolished my Dominos farm house pizza (meatzza was my favourite before I turned vegetarian) and I am within shouting distance from KFC, Pizzahut, Papa Johns, Baskin Robbins, Subway, Starbucks and a few more which my overworked brain cannot remember at the moment.
There is a school called 'The American school' founded by Americans in Delhi, twenty minutes from where I stay, on the lines of 'The British school' started long back.Delhi is a melting pot of Americans, English, Italians, Japanese, Koreans and more like New York and London are melting pots.
The Miss America pageant,2014 was recently celebrated and Nina Davuluri was crowned the winner, but if media reports are to be believed the famous pageant (in recent times) is watched by everyone outside of America, but hardly watched by the busy Americans themselves,atleast not until now that is.Over 100,000 people came to watch it in 1921 and it was the most watched and highest rated American television program till the 1960s.From then onwards viewership dwindled in the Miss America contest with less than 10 million watching it this time in 2013, but that has changed now with a great deal of people suddenly discussing it.
The crowning of a technically Non-American Nina Davuluri as the contest winner has stirred up a hornet's nest with people commenting on the contest universally, both offline and online, with worldwide media also reporting and commenting on it.
Miss America Pageant-Rule number seven.
- One side says that 'Under rule no.7' of the Miss America pageant, a person contesting has to be from the 'white race' and I tend to agree here, since the contest is by the Americans, for the Americans and of the Americans and therefore to crown a 'dusky' non-white was simply not done.
- Another side says America being the land of the free,it is high time ethinicity was disregarded and crowning a non-white is a sign of progess and liberalisation.
- Everyone outside of the country looks upto America as a land of opportunities where hardwork can get you everywhere and Davuluri (of hindu heritage) was technically born and broughtup in America so what is wrong if she beat all the other great ladies to the coveted title.
Do you think beauty pageants commodify women?
Fair versus dusky.
It is ironical that in my own country India,where some people are obsessed with white skin, dusky Nina Davuluri (the crowned Miss America) might have gone unnoticed.
I don't mean for this hub to be personal but as an extremely fair Indian myself who kind of speaks the Queen's english, I was just approached by a boy in an upmarket gym who asked me if I was an indian or a foreigner, and was convinced only after I chatted with him in fluent hindi.
India has 28 states and seven union territories with almost all states having their own distinct food, folkdance , language, architecture and government as well, so it is akin to several small countries within one big country.
Also it is one of the most populated in the world with a sizeable chunk settled in the USA and UK, so it was a matter of time before an Indian American was crowned in an all American pageant.
City for outsourcing.
Some fun stuff about the Miss America pageant.
- The first pageant was held in 1921 and 16 year old Margaret Gorman was crowned winner.
- Vanessa Williams was the first Afro-American to be crowned Miss America in 1983.
- After 1988, it became mandatory for every contestant to have a social issue or 'platform' to focus on, since some found pageants to be frivolous and derogatory to women.
Outsourcing and Jay Leno.
Some years back when practically all major American brands started outsourcing to India trying to save millions of dollars ,because of the difference in the Dollar and Rupee rate, alot of Americans were upset on losing their jobs, which is totally understandable.
But thousands of local indian traders also lost their jobs and were eaten up by multinational giants.
The Indian landscape is eaten up with buildings belonging to American Express,Amway, Citi, Cocacola,Dupont, GE, JP morgan, Morgan Stanley and many more which add more traffic and chaos to an already over populated country.
But the world is a global game and we're all in this together-you scratch my back, I scratch yours.
I was also watching the Jay Leno show on television here(yes we have all the major American talk shows,reality shows,cookery shows,movies and more airing on our airwaves in India thanks to satellite television) and the man in his unique, unmatched style poked fun at everything.
According to him Nina Davuluri won the pageant because she answered what the other contestents could not-"What is the name of last year's Miss America?"
For now the past flagging interest in the pageant has been newly revived with Miss Daluvari grabbing more eyeballs than usual and people waiting in line for an interview with the woman who faced alot of odds and defied criticism before and after the pageant to emerge a winner.
Hindu heritage and other trivia.
- On a different note have you ever wondered how Obama and Osama sound insanely similar with just one minor alphabet making the difference in the former's last and the latter's first name.
- In a local Indian pageant some time back, one of the judges asked a beauty contestent to comment on Obama and the girl in all innocense commented on Osama.It was a hilarious moment and though the embarassed girl never won anything, she would be long remembered for her answer.
- Though there is no denying that Barrack Obama has to be credited with putting an end to the terror unleashed by Osama Bin Laden.
- There was a minor racist backlash with people calling Nina Davuluri a muslim, an arab and a terrorist on twitter, but mixing India with Arab countries is like saying London is in America, though I believe there is a place called london in The United States of America too.Great coincidence.
- Nina Daluvuri is of hindu, telugu (south) indian roots (being from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh) in india.
- India and the Arab nation are two different continents altogether though there are muslims living in India, too.
- Every Indian is not an Arab or a muslim and every muslim is not a terrorist. I believe that we are all global citizens.
Miss America telecast.
World's largest scholarship assistance provider.
Is the fourth longest ever running live telecast in the history of television.
Provided over $45 million in cash and help to pageant contestants.
A contestant can participate more than once at the state level, but can only take part once at the national level.
Nina Davuluri,Miss America, 2014.
- Originally from Fayetville, New York, Davuluri graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive sciences.
- Her father is a gynaecologist who immigrated to America 30 years back with his wife and Davuluri was born in America.
- Davuluri performed an indian dance number with some bollywood thrown in,under the platform 'Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency'
- She battled bulumia and obesity as a child but is fit and healthy now.
- Her ancestral roots are in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh,India.