Aug 20, 2018-Dilasha Neupane, a resident of Omaha, Nebraska, was crowned Miss Nepal US 2018.
She came out on top among 16 other finalists in the pageant held on Sunday (August 20) at Grand Center in Plano, Texas. She will receive $5,000 in scholarship to fund her academic career.
“I’m very happy and excited,” Neupane said after winning the crown. “I’m very privileged and humbled, most importantly.”
The red velvety curtains may have closed on the stage Sunday, but the spotlight will continue to be over Neupane now.
With the title of Miss Nepal US, she has become the brand ambassador for Nepal Tourism Ministry’s “Visit Nepal 2020” campaign, while representing the hyphenated identity, Nepali-American, in the international stage.
“I look forward to working for the betterment of the Nepali society in the U.S. and in Nepal,” Neupane said.
Neupane is a medical student with concentration in neurology. She said, with the title win, she now has a greater platform to work on her goals, which includes creating a healthier Nepal by improving the mortality rate from heart diseases and respiratory infections.
She also bagged the sub-title Miss Academic Excellence during the competition.
Posha Gharti Thapa, a graduate nursing student at Texas Tech University, was named Miss Nepal US first runner-up, while Colorado-raised Kriti Dhungel became the second runner-up.
The Sunday’s event tail ended a week-long intensive crash course on how to win a beauty pageant.
The contestants, in their late teens to mid-20s, were selected from an initial pool of hundreds of applicants. The final 17 worked on their personality and presentation skills from dawn to midnight and maintained a rigid daily schedule that included eating, resting and practicing time. The competition was fierce this year, but the girls enjoyed and lived up to the expectations, said Malina Joshi, former Miss Nepal and official trainer for Miss Nepal U.S. 2018.
"In Nepal, in most cases, the girls are rather shy, and they require some time to open themselves," Joshi said. "But, they (Miss Nepal U.S. participants) are already there. They are confident and not hesitant to express themselves."
Joshi said she attributes that distinction to the difference in upbringing in the two countries. The American society has historically been more accepting of gender equality and individualism.
The training phase for Miss Nepal typically lasts about 6 weeks, as compared to the one week given to Miss Nepal U.S. contestants.
As part of the training, Joshi discussed current central issues with the contestants for help with the question-answer rounds. She also taught them the art of cat-walk among other things.
“You can never say that she's going to make it and she's not going to make it," Joshi said about the contestants’ futures. " I'm hoping they are going to surprise me."