|(c) Veena Purohit|
(bc) Veena Purohit represented Germany during the first "Mrs. India Europe" beauty pageant in Stockholm. Finally, she achieved a remarkable "First Runner Up" title. Besides her experiences prior to and during the contest the situation of women in India is an important issue Veena wishes to address.
Dear Veena, thanks for having you for an interview. You represented Germany at the "Mrs. India Europe" pageant and successfully achieved the "1st runner up title", congratulations! Can you give us a short overview of this contest? Most of us know the "Miss" contests, but what is a "Mrs." Contest?
Thank you for interviewing me, it gives me immense pleasure to receive this honor. As the title suggests Mrs India Europe, it is an opportunity for married women. It is a platform for the mothers, wives and daughter-in-laws to represent their talent which might get concealed due to their daily family chores. It gives them a chance to create their own identity in the society.
This contest is still not much known here in Germany, what can be the reason for that?
As this contest was held for the first time, it wasn’t much popular. But the organizers are putting in more efforts to publicize the upcoming contests and arrange them on a larger scale.
How did you become eligible as the German representative, tell us something about the pre-contest, was it public?
The basic requirement to participate in this contest was, any married women of Indian origin residing in Germany for more than 3 months at the time of participation. A pre-contest was first held in different European countries such as Finland, United Kingdom, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany. The contest consisted of three rounds viz., presentation, talent and question answer round. And yes, it was a public contest after which the winners of the individual European countries went ahead to participate in Mrs India Europe!
|Mrs India Europe 1st Runner Up Veena Purohit (middle)|
What is your overall experience?
Overall my experience was wonderful and a great learning experience. I got an opportunity to meet different people from various fields. The ceremony took place in very friendly environment and it felt like I found a family in the form of contestants, organizers, sponsors and event director. It is a memorable experience which I will cherish my entire life.
Veena, our readers would like to know more about their representative. What do you do, where do you live? I came to know that you are a scientist, please share some information with us.
I am living in Berlin, Germany from last five years now. I am pursuing PhD in Geographical Sciences from Freie Universitaet Berlin. I got married in Dec 2013 to my beloved husband Dr. Purv Purohit. I am an extrovert person and like to maintain a fine balance between my education and passion. I participated in many extra circular actives like "Karneval der Kulturen" in 2015 and a traditional fashion show at Indian Embassy Berlin titled "Saree - A weaver's dream" etc. to name a few.
Back to the contest: What was the modus of the grand finale, who was the jury, how many rounds were announced and how many sub categories?
The contest was divided into two categories: public voting and question answers. Every participant was required to shoot a video of 4 to 5 minutes which was then uploaded on the organizer's website. This webpage was then floated in the public domain for voting, after which a presentation and question answer round were held. Based on the result of the two categories combined, the winner, 1st and 2nd runner up were selected. The jury were mainly the organizing Chairman, National Directors and three external judges from the field of music.
How do you rate that event finally?
Now the competition is over and I became the first runner up of Mrs India Europe. It was a very challenging and competitive event, every competitor was good in their own way. I am happy that I gave my best to have achieved this title.
The role of a woman is being discussed these days intensively. People have realized that the traditional role of a woman in India is obsolete. Furthermore, abusing woman is an issue India was not willing to talk about for a long time, but such abuse still happened again and again. You commented on that by a dancing video. Nonetheless, today we see self-confident, successful Indian women in different fields of the society, how do beauty pageants fit into this?
Abusing affect women from all kind of backgrounds every day. Sometimes, abusing can cause terrible physical and emotional pain. These kinds of offence are common in India and such criminal events affect everyone. Such events cannot be stopped but standing strong against it can help us to overcome the weakness of womanhood. That is why; I selected this topic for my video, to promote women empowerment. The winners of beauty pageants like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sushmita Sen, Dia Mirza and others have set examples in the society by helping cancer patients, adopting orphans and by taking active part to save environment.
I remember from the first Miss India Germany contest in 2003 a Q&A round, where pageants were requested to say some meaningful words and I heard something like "I want peace on earth" which holds true but is not really an innovative answer. What was expected from such an Q&A round and how can one win?
When they say pageant winners are beauties with brains, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be a born intelligent. What is expected is along with knowing which shade of lip stick suits you, you are also aware about other things in life such as your nation, society, culture. Winning a title like this actually comes with a responsibility, people look up to you as a good person and also as a trendsetter. To win this you also need to keep track of the current affairs and also look to help society and an individual.
What is your message to all Indian women of today?
My message to the Indian woman is: Tell yourself that you are beautiful, give your best and never let people take any kind of advantage of you. A beautiful quote that I always follow ‘You are the creator of your own Destiny’ by Swami Vivekananda helps me to set my goals high and work hard to achieve it.
Dear ladies, gents and kids - Keep Smiling and it will give you thousand ways to live your life happily.
Thank you, Veena.