University student Seema Moonilal was in shock when she was announced the winner of the Divali Nagar Queen Competition on Monday.
Delegates from five countries participated in the annual queen show at the Nagar Site in Chaguanas and at the end TT’s Moonilal, 22, won the competition.
Miss Nagar Canada Suvina Smolsky was first runner-up while Miss USA, Navina Misir, took the second runner-up position.
Among the countries represented were USA, Canada. Suriname, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago. Moonilal said she stood still when her name was called as the winner.
“I was in disbelief. I really so shocked on hearing the results that I had to listen to the announcer, Surujdeo Mangaroo call my name twice before I could move forward,” she said.
She said she was grateful to the National Council for Indian Culture (NCIC) for giving her the opportunity to shine on stage as a Divali Queen.
Moonilal is a past student of Holy Faith Convent, Penal, and is currently pursuing her BSc in Biomedical Technology at UWI, St Augustine.
With this degree, she would like to become a biomedical engineer. She thanked her parents Sieunarine and Cheryl Moonilal for their support and sent a message to all women: “Be bold, be brave, be strong but most of all be a woman of worth.”
For the talent competition, Moonilal performed a Bollywood dance number choreographed by her close friend Sandrina Ramkhelawan. She wore a seven-yard traditional sari adorned with complex designs of polished pearls, coupled with glitter stones contrasting on shimmery teal and aquamarine hues. Along the borders of the sari were rich silver border and a touch of floral patterns.
Miss Belize Shaenna Gildharry won the talent competition with her interpretation of the song ‘Your Mother’s Love’ the late Sundar Popo.
Gildharry is a budding singer in her country.
She told Newsday she wanted to find a song that was popular in Trinidad and Tobago.