In this Caribbean nation, where 44 percent of the population is of Indian origin, the new Miss Trinidad & Tobago has been advised to greet global audiences at the Miss World 2017 pageant in China in October with Hindu salutations like "Sita Ram, Namaste".
Chandini Chanka will be the person of Indian origin in 40 years to represent the multi-ethnic society at the international beauty contest in Sanya, China.
Surujdeo Mangaroo, Public Relations Officer of the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC), the country's premier socio-cultural organisation, made the plea at a reception held in Chanka's honour at Divali Nagar, Chaguanas, earlier this week.
Chanka won the Miss World Trinidad and Tobago 2017 title last Sunday. She was crowned by the reigning queen Daniella Walcott after beating back some tough competitors.
"I want to remind Miss Chanka that as she makes her way on the international stage ... please do not forget or ignore the traditional Hindu form of greetings, Sita Ram, Namaste," Mungroo said.
He said that when Chanka won the annual Miss Divali Nagar Queen Contest in October 2015, she strode the walk away "with dignity, poise, confidence and conviction that she was the winner all through, even before the results were announced".
"I hope these values would be applied at the Miss World Queen Pageant in China in October and to bring home that glory and international honour as a Hindu woman for Trinidad and Tobago," Mangaroo said.
Chanka is the only daughter of Debra and Krishendath Chanka of Aranguez, San Juan. She has a brother and holds a bachelor's degree in international relations and has been accepted to pursue a law degree at the University of the West Indies in September.
She has plans to become an attorney.
Trinidad and Tobago's Indian diaspora hails principally from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. People from these two states were brought to the country to enhance the agricultural capacity of the then colony between 1845 and 1917.
Chanka won the Miss World Trinidad and Tobago 2017 title last Sunday. She was crowned by the reigning queen Daniella Walcott after beating back some tough competitors