Vancouver beauty Lavanya Hiremath, makes top 5 in Miss India-Canada (w/gallery)

Published: August 18, 2013
Lavanya Hiremath

Miss India Canada contestant Lavanya Hiremath from Vancouver. Courtesy: Farooq Salik

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI 

The only Vancouver beauty from Saturday’s Miss India-Canada pageant in Toronto will be returning to the West Coast without the crown she sought — but the experience she gained from the South Asian beauty contest was worth much more.

Lavanya Hiremath, 24, grew up in Dubai with Indian parents. She first came to Canada to study at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ont. and moved to B.C. in 2007, ultimately settling in downtown Vancouver, where she’s studying interior design at Vancouver College of Art and Design.

But ever since her move to Canada she’s fallen out of touch with her heritage, so the 23rd annual Miss India-Canada pageant gave her the much needed opportunity to reconnect with her South Asian roots.

“We grow up in Canada kind of losing track of our own culture, but we hear about it from our parents,” Hiremath told Vancouver Desi before the pageant. “We don’t go around wearing Indian clothes or watching Indian movies or even just being involved with the Indian community as much, just because life gets in the way.”

While Hiremath made it into the top five contestants, the title of Miss India-Canada ultimately went to Toronto contestant, Harleen Malhans.

But even without the big win, the preparation and the competition — in which she competed against 15 other contestants—  allowed Hiremath to fully explore her culture.

The glamorous event boasted a range of Indian culture and heritage, especially in the talent round— in which Hiremath speed-painted a picture of Mahatma Gandhi — but there was also an entire round dedicated to fashion, with Hiremath showcasing a Toronto designer.

“Just doing my research for this pageant has made me learn more about Indian fashion and things like that,” she said. “It’s a completely different world from European fashion.

“You get to know (the) styles — you get back in touch with churidars and lehengas and saris and you see how far they’ve come.”

“I didn’t even realize that there are so many different ways to tie saris … I thought saris were what my grandma and my mom wear to the temple.”

But the pageant made her realize it’s “not limited.”

“There’s so much more right now that we don’t even know about — or at least that I didn’t know about,” she said.

Hiremath has spent most of her summer travelling for pageants and shows hoping to get a start on a modelling career. Her involvement in Saturday’s competition stemmed from Miss Universe Canada, where she was one of 58 finalists, but didn’t place.

“I think doing Miss Universe Canada, I didn’t have any platform to showcase my own culture, and so Miss India-Canada kind of gave me that outlet, which I like,” said Hiremath. “It’s just a platform to give the Indian community a voice.”

And although she walked away from Saturday’s contest without the crown, she plans to stay involved and still have a voice in the Indian community — in Canada or “even in India,” she said.

“Just to inspire Indian youth like me that are living here or even living back home that you can make a difference and be proud of where you’re from,” she said.

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute

Related Stories:



Miss India Canada contestant 2013


Picture 1 of 20

Lavanya Hiremath. Dennis Lee Photography


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Pakistan

Pakistani girl gunned down by uncle over loud music

VANCOUVER DESI A 16-year-old girl from Pakistan is dead after she was gunned down by her uncle for refusing to turn down loud music, according…
Continue Reading »

desi hiker

This is the picture a South Asian hiker took of a 135-kg black bear. A few minutes later, it killed him

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS A New Jersey hiker killed by a bear in September took a series of photos of the animal with his cellphone before…
Continue Reading »

Badaun suicide

Indian investigators say two sisters found hanging from a tree were not murdered or gang raped

HINDUSTAN TIMES The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has concluded after a five-month probe that the two teenaged Badaun cousins had committed suicide, putting to…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

domestic violence South Asian Surrey

Alex Sangha: Five step plan to curb domestic violence in the South Asian community

ALEX SANGHA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI There have been a number of high profile murders in the South Asian community in Surrey over the years. …
Continue Reading »

Surrey crash-desi

Surrey crash victim’s son says deporting parolee would ‘send a message’

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — A Surrey man who killed an elderly man when he smashed his brother’s Corvette into a Surrey bus shelter…
Continue Reading »

Islamophobia

Stereotyping is alive and well when it comes to Muslim and Sikh religious symbols in Canada

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI One-third of British Columbians believe radicalized people live among us, according to a poll commissioned by The Province. The survey of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

10413566DESI

University confessions Facebook pages can show the hardships of college life in B.C. (w/video)

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI “Today I decided that I would start studying for finals,” an anonymous student wrote to the UBC Confessions Facebook page on…
Continue Reading »

terrorism

Dharm Makwana: Presumed guilty until you miss your flight

  DHARM MAKWANA VANCOUVER DESI By the end of the ordeal my wife was on the verge of tears. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection…
Continue Reading »

suffer in silence

Help for Victims of Sexual Abuse

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The reasons for not reporting incidents of sexual abuse or harassment are many and varied. Recently, we have addressed some of…
Continue Reading »

cricket-terrorism-Belgium

Pakistani cricketer labeled terrorist for carrying bat on public transport, deported from Belgium

VANCOUVER DESI A young Pakistani cricketer and his family have been forced out of Belgium after he was labeled a terrorist for carrying his cricket…
Continue Reading »

wild pets

Two “snake catchers” arrested in India for illegally keeping venomous pets

VANCOUVER DESI Two men in Southern India who are known as local “snake catchers” have been arrested and thrown in jail for illegally keeping venomous…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Junior Lata-Bollywood-song-music

Video of 11-year-old girl singing Bollywood song ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ goes viral

VANCOUVER DESI A video of a 11-year-old Indian girl singing Lata Mangeshkar’s Bollywood song Satyam Shivam Sundaram has gone viral on social media and drawn…
Continue Reading »

sex video-Pakistan-Bollywood

Bollywood actress Veena Malik and her husband sentenced to 26 years in jail for blasphemy

IANS Dubai – Controversial Bollywood actress Veena Malik has expressed “shock” at a Pakistan court sentencing her and her husband, among others, to 26 years…
Continue Reading »

Desi sex

Bollywood’s Emraan Hashmi says he never refused to work with Canadian pornstar Sunny Leone (w/gallery)

IANS Mumbai – Emraan Hashmi denies that he refused to work with adult film star Sunny Leone for a special song in “Ungli”. In fact,…
Continue Reading »