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How Miss India DC 2020 Experience Helped Connect with My Indian Culture in a New Way

How Miss India DC 2020 Experience Helped Connect with My Indian Culture in a New Way

Sonia Sukumar

I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in Miss India DC 2020 for the past couple of months. The Miss India DC Pageant is an annual pageant for women with Indian heritage in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area where they can showcase their talent and meet other people from the DMV area. This pageant is a great way to increase confidence, as well. 

I joined this pageant because I was looking to learn more about myself and connect with my Indian culture in a new way. I have never participated in a pageant before and it has been one of my goals for a long time, so I am so happy to have taken part in Miss India DC this year. The pageant was virtual due to COVID-19 and consisted of a talent portion (in which I sang), a walk in an Indian dress, and a question/answer round. 

The final round happened tonight and I was named Second Runner Up. I was able to connect with so many great people through this pageant and after appearing on Intense 102.9 fm as part of the pageant process, I was offered a weekly radio show on this station, along with another contestant. The show will be entitled Love Letters to the Sun and we will be discussing South Asian identity and what it is like being Indian and growing up in the United States. 

Not only did this pageant allow me to connect with my artistic side that loves music, singing, dancing, and writing poetry, but I was also presented with many great opportunities and I plan to use my platform to talk about my own goals, as well as my goals that focus on helping others. I am excited to compete in New York at the national pageant and look forward to future opportunities that come my way. I am so grateful to have been a part of Miss India DC 2020. Be sure to check out my talent video, as well as my intro and Indian dress video, all of which are on the Miss India DC Youtube Channel! 

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Sonia Sukumar is from Minnesota and is currently a senior Business Management major and Creative Writing minor at Goucher College, set to graduate this December, and is on her way to Johns Hopkins University for her M.S. in Marketing Analytics. She is the founder and president of Goucher’s South Asian Student Association, captain of Goucher’s Garam Gophers Bollywood Fusion Team, and a member of Goucher’s Interfaith Council. In addition, she interns for a Minnesota-based IT company, is a tap instructor and choreographer, is trained in Kathak, and loves to sing and write poetry. She is also the 2nd runner up for Miss India DC 2020 and has goals to use her platform to raise awareness about various issues occurring in the world, such as poverty and lack of access to proper housing. She plans to run her own company one day.

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