Nagaland

It’s time to let the world know about us & our rich culture – Miss Sake India 2020, Upasna Gurung

Kohima, February 24 (NE): Miss Sake India 2020, Upasna Gurung shares on her exciting journey of beauty pageant which started at Mokokchung district of Nagaland in the year 2012, now taken her into an international stage, as she is looking forward to represent India in international platform at the Miss Sake Japan 2020 which is scheduled to be held at Kyoto, Japan on March 2020.

Upasna said, ‘ I really want to thank everyone who believed and encouraged me which includes my mom and dad who have always supported my dreams like it was theirs. My friends and well wishers gave me strength and motivation to keep going forward and never look back’.

Speaking to NagalandExpress, Upasna said, ‘I started participating in beauty pageants in the year 2012, where I took part in the district level beauty pageant, Miss Mokokchung and was crowned Miss Talented. Since then it was a non-stop exciting journey. Last year I was crowned as the runner’s up of Miss Capital of India along with the title- Miss Confident. I never stopped believing in what I wanted to achieve, as I stand here at this juncture of life – first ever Miss Sake India 2020.

My biggest inspiration is my people (Nagaland). I am who I am, because of them. Long Live Nagaland, she added.

Upasna Gurung is the daughter of Mr. Govind Gurung and Malati Gurung, born in Mokokchung, Nagaland, currently living in New Delhi and working with Zomato.

Sharing on the crowning moments, she says:

‘Words fall short to express my happiness as I was crowned to represent my country in Japan. When I think about that moment, it still gives me goosebumps. This beauty pageant is very different, it not just about glamour and glitz. Miss Sake India aims at selecting a Cultural Ambassador to share a love and understanding of Sake, Japanese cuisine and the charm of Japanese culture through Sake. My journey has just begun, I hope to make my country and my people proud in the international level’.

For the international event ahead of her, she exclaims:

‘I am very excited to meet my fellow Miss Sake from 6 different countries next month in Japan! I would love to take this opportunity in learning, understanding and exchanging cultural knowledge. I wish each one of them good luck, she added.

Sharing on how she joined the beauty pageant – Miss Sake India:

Upasna says, ‘The idea of Miss Sake India 2020 was suggested to me by my previous show directors Divya Jain and Karan. It was an online audition. There were about 35 applicants out of which the Spiritz Magazine, who are also the show organizers of Miss Sake India selected top 14 contestants. We were asked to write down few details about our love for Japan and it’s culture. We were also asked to write why we wanted to become Miss Sake, before the declaration of top 14.

Thereafter, on the 21st February 2020, We had two rounds. The first was our introduction and understanding about Sake. The top five contestants were selected by our esteemed judges; Miss. Sae Haruta (Miss Sake Japan 2019), Mr. Bishan Kumar (Editor-in-cheif of Spiritz Magazine), Mr. Pradeep Kharb (Model and Actor), Ms.Rita Gangwani (Pageant Coach and Personality Development Mentor) and Mr Kenji Sugino (The Secretary General of Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in India ). After which we had the declaration of the winner and the crowning moments.

Further she thanks the Sake organizers saying: ‘I want to thank the entire team of Sake association and Spiritz Magazine for giving us this platform for making me believe that dreams will never be shattered. Along with that I want to thank my people from my state Nagaland for their immense love and support everytime. I hope I bring laurels to you all again and again and it’s time to let the world know about us and our rich culture. I would also like to thank the Gorkha Students union Mokokchung, she added.

Sake, also spelled saké, is referred to Japanese rice wine- an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice a little similar to rice beer that has been polished to remove the bran. Despite the name, unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in fruit (typically grapes), sake is produced by a brewing process more akin to that of beer, where starch is converted into sugars, which ferment into alcohol, she explained.

Kampai!! (Cheers in Japanese) said Upansa.