India’s Harnaaz Sandhu wins Miss Universe contest held in Israel
Sandhu, a 21- time–old model, tops a field of some 80 rivals in a pageant that was touched by politics and the epidemic.
India’s Harnaaz Sandhu swells after winning Miss Universe 2021 during the 70th Miss Universe pageant in Eilat, Israel (Ariel Schalit/ AP)
. Published On 13 Dec 2021
13 Dec 2021
Harnaaz Sandhu of India has been culminated in the 70th Miss Universe, beating a field of some 80 rivals in a pageant that was touched by politics and the epidemic.
The preliminarily reigning Miss Universe, Andrea Meza of Mexico, culminated her successor, a 21- time–old model, beforehand on Monday in the Israeli Red Sea resort city of Eilat.
The pageant included traditional displays of public costumes, swimwear, and a series of interview questions to test rivals’ public speaking chops. The top 10 showed off intricately bedazzled full-length gowns in either gold, tableware, or citation.
Sandhu performs in the National Costume portion of the Miss Universe pageant in Eilat, Israel (Ariel Schalit/ AP)
The Philippines’s Beatrice Luigi Gomez wore an asymmetrical cut dress with one sleeve, pressing a new tattoo she said: “ celebrates her womanishness”.
Before Sandhu, two Indians have won the Miss Universe title Bollywood actresses Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000.
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The contest also drew attention in recent weeks for other reasons, with several rivals defying pressure to swap in support of the Palestinians.
A grassroots Palestinian- led boycott movement had prompted rivals to skip the event to protest Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
The Palestinian Crusade for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel wrote “ We prompt all actors to withdraw, to avoid conspiracy in Israel’s intolerance governance and its violation of Palestinian mortal rights.”
The 80 rivals also included Miss Morocco Kawtar Benhalima and Miss Bahrain Manar Nadeem Deyani, whose Muslim- maturity nations normalized ties with Israel last time.
In the end, only Indonesia and Malaysia, nations that don’t have political relations with Israel, didn’t shoot a representative, citing the global COVID-19 situation, not Israel’s rights record.
South Africa, which also explosively supports the Palestinian cause, withdrew support for the country’s representative over her participation, citing “ atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians”.
The United Arab Emirates, which also normalized ties with Israel last time and where Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made a major visit on Sunday, has also not transferred a seeker.
But the UAE said that was “ due to time constraints” in opting for its public winner.
. Rivals for the pageant landed in Israel late last month and have since voyaged spots, occasionally coming under review for artistic insensitivity.
In one stop in the Bedouin megacity of Rahat, the campaigners wore blankets with traditional Palestinian embroidery while rolling grape leaves – which Gomez twittered was a “ Day in the life of a Bedouin”.
The Bedouin are traditionally vagrant Palestinians who have long complained of demarcation in casing and education by the Israeli government.
“ Colonialism, racism, artistic appropriation, patriarchy, whitewashing, all in one place,” twittered Ines Abdel Razek of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, an advocacy group.
In an interview last month, Meza prompted rivals to leave politics out of the pageant, saying the gathering was meant to bring together women from different backgrounds.
“ When you’re in there, you forget about politics, about your religion,” she told The Associated Press news agency at the time.
Sara Salansky, a functionary with the Israeli tourism ministry, said the country was named to host the contest before this time because of Israel’s successful coronavirus vaccination program.
South Africa’s Lalela Mswane, from left, India’s Harnaaz Sandhu, and Paraguay’s Nadia Ferreira advance to the top 3 during the Miss Universe pageant (Ariel Schalit/ AP)
. The contest suffered a last-nanosecond hiatus with the appearance of the Omicron variant, which forced Israel to close its borders to foreign excursionists late last month.
Utmost of the Miss Universe rivals were formerly in the country before the new regulations came into effect. But those who came latterly were given special authorization to enter, albeit with an obligatory 72-hour counterblockade period.
Throughout the run-up to Sunday’s contest, all rivals were tested for the coronavirus every 48 hours and needed to observe strict mask conditions.
Amid all the safeguards, France’s competitor, Clemence Bottino, tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after arriving in Israel. After 10 days in counterblockade, she was declared contagion–free last week and allowed to return to the competition.
Last time’s pageant was delayed due to the epidemic before Meza culminated in May of this time for her abbreviated term.
Actors in the pageant, which was owned by Donald Trump before he came US chairman, must be between the periods of 18 and 28 and shouldn’t be wedded or have a child.