A bunch of thirteen year old kids of Indian origin ruled the roost at the Scripps National Spelling Bee tonight. Out of 11 finalists, more than half (Ramya Auroprem, Aishwarya Pastapur, Sidharth Chand, Neetu Chandak, Anamika Veeramani, Tussah Heera, and Kavya Shivashankar) had Indian names. That is an astounding 7 out of 11. In each round, anyone making a mistake was out of the competition. It took 16 rounds to crown the champion, in which Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas spelt “Laodicean” correctly to take the trophy. It was interesting how she acted out writing each word on her hand with her finger before finally spelling it out.
The examiners were pronouncing each word for the contestants before they could spell it. They didn’t do badly with pronouncing the kids’ names either, except Anamika’s, which they pronounced as Anna-Meeka.