BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
The first ever Miss Diwali Canada pageant was held on Sunday November 8th, at the Rose Garden Banquet Hall in Etobicoke. Epic Entertainment presented the first Diya Divas pageant, inviting contestants to take part in this amazing opportunity to be crowned the first Miss Diwali Canada.
It was an evening filled with highly anticipated performances and fierce competition as seven delegates contended for the title of Miss Diwali Canada 2015. Keeping in accordance with traditions followed on the Hindu auspicious festival of Diwali, the contestants took part in a celebration of talent, intelligence and beauty lighting up the stage with their vibrant and enchanting personalities.
Pageant director, Rajmini Ramkumar shares that it was always her dream to host this type of event. After her own daughter Chalisa had competed in pageants, she aspired to one day organize her own event within the community to show everyone what their culture is all about. For Rajmini, the initiative to start her own pageant was always at the forefront of her mind, and this year she was presented with the opportunity to make that dream a reality.
The evening commenced with an opening prayer led by pundits from the community, with those in attendance including: Pt. Vishnu Persaud Misra, Pt. Maharaj Doobay, Pt. Manni Mahabir, Pt. Harrilal Sharma, Pt. Rajesh, Pt. Nandalal, Pt. Sewlal Persaud, Pt. Jagdeo Maharaj, Pt. Krish Harpaul and Mr. Bansingh. In welcoming the celebration of Diwali, bhajans were sung to bring the warmth and light of Mother Lakshmi to the event with a dance performed in her honor.
The evening was packed with many performances for the audience to enjoy, with appearances by Suresh Hanoman, Arvin, Bishram, Anjana and Terry Gajraj. In addition to these singers there was a selection of high-energy dance performances by Chris Badree, Sara and Anissa.
The delegates took to the stage with grace and poise as they were introduced to the crowd and the judges for the evening. The contestants were a selection of stunning young women that demonstrated a refreshing balance of beauty and brains including Nirvanee Ramnarine, Pooja Maharaj, Abigale Motiram, Anjeli Bissoon, Lisa Jewanram, Dannilian Motilal and Tricia Mahabir. Each participant modeled a colorful and dazzling saree of their choice, performing an array of competitive talents before answering a Diwali related question to decide the final score.
Finally after much anticipation a Queen was chosen! Miss Dannilian Motilal was crowned the first ever Miss Diwali Canada for 2015! Coming in as 1st Runner-up was Miss Anjeli Bisson and 2nd Runner-up was Miss Pooja Maharaj. Each girl brought something unique to the table and they are all commended for their amazing performances. This was a strong start for the Miss Diwali Canada, Diya Divas Pageant. They had an amazing turnout and it was a huge success. We can’t wait to see what next year has in store!