India’s Harnaaz Sandhu crowned Miss Universe
Eilat, Israel, Dec 13 (EFE).- India’s Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned the new Miss Universe at the 70th edition of the beauty pageant held in the Israeli city of Eilat on Monday.
Sandhu, the third Indian to win the title, was crowned by her predecessor Mexican Andrea Meza, after edging out Paraguay’s Nadia Ferreira and South Africa’s Lalela Mswane, who were first and second runners-up respectively.
The pageant was held at the Universe Arena, a custom-made venue that was far from full due to the ban on the entry of tourists declared two weeks ago by Israel to contain the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The Chandigarh-born Sandhu, 21, is a model and actress and an advocate for women’s rights, especially their access to education.
“The biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves, to know that you are unique and that’s what makes you beautiful. Stop comparing yourselves with others and let’s talk about more important things that’s happening worldwide,” Sandhu said when asked during the final question and answer round what advice she would give to young women on how to deal with the pressures they face.
This is the third time an Indian has won the contest after actors Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta in 1994 and 2000 respectively.
The last day of the competition showed the contestants parading in matching sequined dresses, then in their swimsuits and, finally, in their evening gowns.
Israeli artist Noa Kirel, American singer-songwriter JoJo and a group of local musicians led by Israeli pop star Harel Skaat performed at the event, which was hosted once again by Steve Harvey. EFE