OXON HILL, Md. — Ananya Vinay has finally won the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She is the only winner, unlike the usual joint winners that the competition usually had in the past. The 12 year old Indian American has proved that the Indian American community and its children have special affinity to not just IT but producing spelling champions too.
To be true, the child looked nonchalant throughout the finals and didn’t feel intimidated whatever the word she was being asked to spell.
The girl who hails from Fresno, California, impressed everyone the way she conducted herself. She looked unmindful of her surroundings and the stage that usually baffles many. She took every question rather very easily and spelled every word with so much ease as if she uses them in her daily life.
At times the girl asked some questions with little intonation — “Part of speech?” ”Language of origin?” — and sometimes she didn’t even bother. Unflappable to the end, Ananya seized the opportunity when her steely opponent, Rohan Rajeev, flubbed a simple-looking but obscure Scandinavian-derived word, “marram,” which means a beach grass. She calmly nailed two words in a row, ending on “marocain,” which means a type of dress fabric of ribbed crepe, to win the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday.
It is amazing to see that both the children in the final were of the Indian American origin, the other being 14-year old Rohan Rajeev from Edmond, Okla.
The prodigy later said she knew all the questions fired at the two contestants. “I knew them all,” Ananya said. She looked very impassioned and didn’t smile even when her parents and younger brother stormed onto the stage to embrace her as the confetti fell. And she took time to console Rohan, who remained in his seat, wiping tears from his eyes.
Nonetheless she showed some happiness and flashed a big smile later when the win sank in. “It’s like a dream come true…I’m so happy right now”, she went on to add. The sixth-grader gets more than $40,000 in cash and prizes. The child is the 13th consecutive Indian-American to win the bee and the 18th of the past 22 winners with Indian heritage, a run that began in 1999 with Nupur Lala’s victory, which was featured in the documentary “Spellbound.”
There is no denying that National Spelling Bee winning words are usually not that tough, but circumstances and the pressure make it confusing for the young children.