Everyone knows that Nina Davuluri has been crowned as Miss America in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 15, 2013, but very few are aware that she is an Indian descendant. She was born to Telugu parents and has also spent few years in Vijayawada during her childhood. Even more interesting stuff is that she watches Telugu movies and she became a big fan of Rebel Star Prabhas after watching his performance in Varsham in 2007.
Nina Davuluri's mother Sheila Ranjani and father Davuluri Koteshwara Choudhary hailed originally from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India. In 1981, her family left for Missouri, USA. She was born on April 20, 1989 in Syracuse, New York, but moved to Oklahoma at the age of four and later to St Joseph Michigan, where her father is a gynecologist affiliated with St Joseph's Hospital.
She attended the University of Michigan and was a topper in both studies and beauty competitions. She has won several scholastic honours including the Dean's List, Michigan Merit Award and National Honor Society Award. She graduated with a degree in Brain Behavior and Cognitive Science. In 2006, she placed Runner-up for Miss Teen America. She prepared herself a whole year for the Miss America competition. Finally, she has made every Indian feel proud by winning this crown.
After winning the Miss America title, Nina Davuluri spoke to a Indian portal about her love for the country. She said, "I wanted to become a Cardiologist and I also have good touch with Bharatha Natyam and Kuchipudi classical dance forms. I even love Telugu movies a lot. Watching Varsham in 2007, I became a big Fan of Prabhas and I just love his performance."
We bring you rare photos and unknown facts about Nina Davuluri. Continue to see them in the slideshow.
Children Can Relate To A New Miss America: Nina
Talking about her victory, Nina Davuluri said, "I'm so happy this organisation has embraced diversity. I'm thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America."
Nina Is Aware of India, Telugu Culture
Nina, who is no stranger to the Indian and Telugu culture. She had learnt Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dance as part of her plan to pursue the dream of becoming Miss America.
Nina Is Trained In Bollywood Fusion Dance
Nina, who lists Bollywood Dance as her primary talent on Miss America official page, has been trained in Bollywood Fusion style dance under the direction of choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan.
Nina's Bollywood Dance At Competition
She performed a classical Bollywood fusion dance along with an Irish Mix for her talent competition. After winning the title, she said, "It's the first time Bollywood has ever been performed on the Miss America stage and it's such an honour for myself, my family and the Indian community as well."
Nina - The first Indian To Win Miss America
Nina Davuluri has become the first Indian American to be chosen as Miss America. In an interview, she said, "I was the first Indian Miss New York and I'm so proud to be the first Indian Miss America."
Nina Belongs To A Doctor's Family
Nina's maternal aunt and uncle in India are doctors and run a nursing home, while her father's siblings are doctors in the United States. Following the family trend, she wishes to become a cardiologist.
Davuluri Plans To Use Prize Money For Studies
Along with Miss America crown, she has also bagged prize money $50,000. She has planned to use this money for her higher education in Medicine.
Nina's Family At Miss America Competition
Her elder sister Meena is a medical student in third year. Her parents and sister were in the Atlantic City to cheer her on along with a group of more than 30 family members, friends during the whole beauty pageant.
Nina's Victory Backlashed on Social Media
Davuluri was crowned as Miss America on September 15, 2013. This was met by a backlash of anti-Indian sentiments in social media. News agencies cited tweets which misidentified her as Muslim or Arab, and associated her with terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda.
Nina's Response To Criticism
Davuluri responded to this criticism, "I have to rise above that, I always viewed myself as first and foremost American."
Nina's Grandmother Koteshwaramma
Nina's grandmother Koteshwaramma Choudhary, 89, who runs Montessori Mahila Kalasala in Vijaywada, is all happy to hear that her 24-year-old granddaughter was crowned Miss America.
Koteshwaramma Elated Over Nina's Achievement
Talking about her success, Koteshwaramma says that she was well aware of her granddaughter's determination and talents. "It is a great achievement. I am very happy as she has finally reached her dream goal.
Nina's Aunt On Her Upbringings
Her aunt Dr Sashibala says she and Koteswaramma brought Nina to Vijayawada when she was just six weeks old. They groomed her till the age of two-and-a-half years. Sashibala adds, "Thereafter her parents took her back to US. But she visits us every summer."
Nina's Love For Telugu Culture
Ms Nina, who learned Kuchipudi in Vijayawada during her visits in summer holidays, is also a good western dancer. She is fond of Telugu movies and never misses to see the latest. She has not only excelled in dance, but has also learnt piano and can wield the tennis racquet with aplomb.
Nina's No Filmy Plans
She had come to Vijyawada soon after becoming first runner up in Miss America's Outstanding Teen contest in 2007 and she was felicitated at a function. Speaking on the occasion then, she had said that Telugu films were one of the mediums to keep herself connected to her cultural roots.