Captivating music and dance lift the annual event to a new high
Auckland, September 17, 2023
Even as the lilting music of Amrita Kaur reverberated in the SkyCity Theatre, Pooja Patel, a Chartered Accountant from Auckland won the coveted Miss IndiaNZ title at an evening of music, dance, talent and humour on Saturday (September 16) night in Auckland.
She was joined by Manvika Seth and Ann Maria Alex, also from Auckland respectively as the First and Second Runners-Up.
The following were the winners in individual categories:
Miss Photogenic: Noor Diwan (Auckland); Miss Popular and Miss Talent: Chinnumol Jose (Palmerston North); Miss Friendship (Contestants’ Choice): Pooja Patel; Miss Beautiful Hair: Nishithini Veeranah (An Aucklander of Mauritian origin) and Miss Potential Model: Ann Mary Roni (Hamilton).
They were evaluated by a panel of independent judges, in addition to audience participation which involved online voting promoted on the Miss IndiaNZ website.
India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Neeta Bhushan was the Chief Guest at the event.
Paying tributes to the organisers, contestants and other participants, she said that programmes like Miss IndiaNZ showcased not only the beauty of India but also its culture and heritage.
“As I have witnessed thus far, Miss IndiaNZ is a colourful event that provides opportunities for our people to showcase their talent and the State of India that they represent. We welcome such events that bring together the people of our great country,” she said.
Veteran Broadcasters Hemant Parikh and Neha Bhatia Sandhu were the Masters of Ceremonies.
The Twenty-two contestants represented a wide range of professions, ranging from Business Consultancy, Human Resources Administration, Beauty Therapy to Mental Health Counselling to Nursing and Modelling. They were from the length and breadth of India- as Dharmesh said, from Kashmir in the North to Kanyakumari in the South and from Jammu to Kerala.
There is always an inexplicable aura of charm and grace that turns the Miss IndiaNZ event, year after year, into a resounding success. The cultural extravaganza which completed its 21st Edition last weekend, has never been ‘just another beauty pageant.’ It has transcended several limiting factors to establish itself as a celebration of talent and the individual spirit.
Neither the contestants nor the participating artists are required to either seek sponsorships or sell tickets, for Dharmesh Parikh, the creator of Reshabh D Parikh Productions and Rhythm House Limited has created an inimitable brand that has risen above such trappings.
No funding, no interference
Dharmesh does not seek or receive funding from any individual or organisation; nor does he receive cash from sponsors. Indian Newslink and Radio Tarana have been media partners of Dharmesh since we share his passion for personal distinction, individuality and non-interference.
“I have a certain way of organising my events and I do not wish to compromise,” he said.
Miss IndiaNZ 2023 was no different.
The pageantry segments involved the sartorial resplendency of the contestants as well as their ability on the feet during the Question and Answer session, it was in their cultural performances that many of them displayed the love of their Motherland and the heritage it represents.
There were other dancers who charged the venue with their energetic (and the inevitable) song and dance sequences from Indian films.
As Dharmesh observed, “The night was not just about the contestants; it was a celebration of art and culture. The audience was treated to captivating performances by some of New Zealand’s finest artists, including the mesmerising female singer Amrita Kaur (a Building Surveyor at Auckland Council). The stage also came alive with scintillating Bollywood and Traditional Dance performances that left everyone spellbound.”
To say that Amrita was in her element would be an understatement and unfair to the young artist, who is visiting India to prepare for her next album of songs.
She has a certain finesse in her voice that is not only soothing but also soul-searching. Her rendition of ‘Tu Hi Re, Tu Hi Re, Tere Bina Mai Kaise Jiyu,’ (a song from the Hindi film ‘Bombay’) exalted the melody of A R Rahman, while ‘Lag Ja Gale’ (from ‘Who Kaun Thi,’ picturised on Sadhana) brought back the memories of Lata Mangeshkar.
She also rendered ‘Ore Piya Haye’ (from ‘Aja Nachle) and Sufi Music (Ki Ve Mukhde, Ankhiya Udik Diya and Nit Kher Manga).
Miss India South Pacific
Miss IndiaNZ 2023 brought together 400 people under one roof, where they witnessed the extraordinary journey of 22 talented contestants from all corners of New Zealand. These young women showcased their grace, poise, and charisma, making it a night to remember.
Rhythm House Ltd is a New Zealand-based Film and Event Management company. Established in 2002, the company is committed to creating memorable events that shine through in every aspect of Miss IndiaNZ.
The company is now preparing to stage its first Miss India South Pacific under the Miss IndiaNZ umbrella, promising even more excitement and talent.