TODAY -

Unearthing gems: Northeast Diva 2016-17

Koushik Hazarika *



The 20th of August saw the Grand Finale of Fiama Northeast Diva being held in Guwahati, where 20 finalists took the stage to compete for the coveted crown. The event was held at Vivanta by Taj and the grand finale saw Peden Omgu Namgayal from Sikkim bag the winner's title followed by Loukrakpam Angoubi from Manipur winning the first runner-up title and Poonam Das from Assam, declared the 2nd runner-up. Peden being the winner is entitled to a direct entry into the finals of Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva 2017.

Northeast Diva is organised by Pride East Entertainments Private Limited and is the brainchild of Ms Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, the Chairperson and Managing Director of the organisation. As in its first year, the current edition of the Fiama Northeast Diva was associated with the Miss India Organisation as its gratification partner, highlighting the importance and stress the pageant lays on providing the right platform for the aspiring contestants.

This year's edition kicked off with a massive 360-degree marketing campaign covering outdoor, television, print, digital and on-ground activation and received resounding response with over a thousand applications making their way into the registration desk. With a dedicated website operating exclusively for the event, many of these registrations were also sent online and had come in from all the eight states of the Northeast.

The selection process to choose the final 20 contestants included auditions that were held in Dimapur, Imphal, Agartala, Shillong and Guwahati, with a final mega-audition being held again at Guwahati. True to its commitment, Northeast Diva managed to reach out even further this year in its attempt to hunt out untapped potential of the region in order to provide them a global platform.

With the pageant slowly becoming an institution unto itself, it not just crowns the winners, but also provides them the necessary support, guidance and resources to help the contestants take a significant step towards their goals.

With a place in Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva finals up for grabs, the contestants had to undergo a week-long rigorous, professional and industry-standard training regime which included ramp walk, stage etiquettes, vocabulary, confidence building and posture, just to name a few.

During this training period, the contestants had to stay away from their families in a designated training venue and were refrained from carrying mobile phones during the training hours. Shyamlee Kalra, the show director said, "The performance of all 20 finalists was at par excellence and each of them put forward their best foot on beauty, vanity, fashion & style. The contestants were very quick to learn mandates on stage etiquettes and footwork on choreography."

The grand finale of Fiama Northeast Diva kicked off in style with over 300 guests attending the event to witness a culmination of fashion, glamour, entertainment and celebration. Hosted by popular television anchor Sachin Kumbhar, the event opened with 'Bhakti Mangal' by the Nartan Kala Sattriya dancers, which provided an auspicious start to the proceedings. Apart from that, there were performances by Sunita Bhuyan Khaund, the Drums of Northeast and ended with a scintillating gig by Soulmate, the blues band from Shillong.

This year's pageant featured a total of four rounds and started with a special round named the Golden Threads of Assam. This round featured a collection made using the traditional Assamese Muga Silk and the collection was designed by two acclaimed fashion designers Sailex Ngairangbam from Manipur and Payal Chadda from Assam. This round was also noteworthy as it marks a significant step towards taking Muga to a global stage.

Another fashion designer from the Northeast, Amrit Raj Bora also showcased his designs in the gown round of the pageant, where all the 20 contestants were seen donning his collection for the penultimate and final rounds. All the finalists exuded confidence and carried of their individual attires in style, a trait which was a result of the training and grooming that they had undergone.

"Having won Miss India Universe and represented India at the Miss Universe pageant, my association as a pageant coach for Fiama Northeast Diva has been very memorable and fulfilling since the girls I trained were immensely talented, fit, hard-working and very eager to imbibe everything I taught them in my training sessions," said Noyonita Lodh, the pageant coach.

The Grand Finale of Fiama Northeast Diva was judged a four-member jury panel consisting of renowned fashion designer Gaviin Miguel, model Ruhi Singh, former Miss India Universe, Noyonita Lodh and Tora Khasgir Borhani, the former Gladrags winner from Assam.

The jury members expressed their delight and satisfaction at the pageant and the contestants with Tora remarking, "It was a very fulfilling experience to go scouting through the North East and find these amazing young ladies. I am so glad that Pride East has taken up this initiative to create a platform for young talents of the North East and I am privileged to help them take it to fruition. North East has never seen a show of this magnitude before. Looking forward to many more of such events."

Apart from the final three winners, six subtitle winners were also declared during the finale and they were Ankita Singha (Fiama Miss Refreshing Personality), Strela Thounaojam (Miss Rampwalk), Aishwarya Rajput (Miss Congeniality), Poonam Das (Miss Beautiful Smile), Peden Ongmu Namgyal (Miss Photogenic) and Angobi Loukrakpam (Miss Body Beautiful).

This year's edition of Fiama Northeast Diva was also special in another way as it had tied up with Manipur Tourism to promote the state in the international area and this initiative serves as a forward step fulfilling the pageant's commitment towards promoting Northeast globally.


* Koushik Hazarika wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on October 13, 2017.


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