Category Archives: Idnani Sana ( USA)

Sindhi: Sana Idnani (Miss New York Teen USA 2008)

Sana Idnani, Miss New York Teen USA 2008
Here is our interview with the beautiful and talented Sana Idnani, the very first American-born South Asian girl to win an American pageant. Look out Aishwarya!
by Khalid Ilahi, for

Sana Idnani

Let us introduce you to this young, intelligent and vivacious beauty. Sana Idnani is her name and she is the winner of the Miss New York Teen USA 2008 pageant. Surprised to see a young South Asian woman in such a mainstream recognized position? Well, don’t be, it’s a sign of the times and even better yet, greater things to come for this talented personality. We chat with Sana about her experience in the pageant and the life of a teenager in the limelight.

SAT: What motivated you to want to be in a pageant? What was the catalyst or underlying reason for the decision behind entering this year’s pageant?
Sana Idnani: As a little girl, I was always fascinated by the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants. I would always say to myself “One day I will be on that stage.” I took TV & Broadcasting as a junior in High School and decided that I wanted to be in media. Pageants are one of the best forums to gain confidence and I thought why not give it a chance.

SAT: You were the runner-up in last year’s pageant, was it hard for you to not have won and what made you want to give it another shot this year?
SI: Well, last year was my first time participating in a pageant and I was still pleased because I won Miss Photogenic and managed to get 2nd runner up. I was surprised that without any prior experience I still got into the top 5. This pushed me to try again this year and I put my whole heart into it.

SAT: How did the other girls in the pageant treat you? You were the only South Asian girl there, so did you feel any difference in your treatment, good or bad.
SI: Most of them were very nice! You have to share the same room with another participant for three days. My roommate became one of my best friends and she supported me through the pageant even though she was a competitor. There was a girl or two that were a little jealous and mumbled some cruel words to themselves after I was crowned but for the most part they were all sweethearts!

SAT: Your parents, being very progressive and in maintaining what has become the normal way for South Asian parents in the US to act are extremely supportive of your involvement with the pageant and the associated publicity. Do they put any pressure on you or are they completely easy going with your involvement?
SI: Both my parents tell us, myself and my brother, to give 100% to whatever we want to achieve in life. Initially, when I used to say that I would bring the crown home, they would smile and not say anything. As time went on, they started taking me more seriously and everyone including my mother, father and brother helped me prepare for the interview questions, shopping for my gown, swimsuit and other outfits. They would also sit patiently and watch me practice walking in five inches heels.

SAT: How is your personal life, do you have a lot of female friends or have you found that there is a lot of jealousy or any such negativity surrounding you by your peers?
SI: I do have a couple of female friends that I am extremely close to but I always had more guy friends throughout my life because girls do tend to form opinions and create drama.

SAT: This question is for all the guys who are going to be wondering, are you allowed to date and do you have a boyfriend? How have guys reacted to you before and after the pageant?
SI: I am allowed to date, but right now I would rather focus on the pageant and school. Before the big win guys did feel more comfortable approaching me but after the pageant they are a little intimidated.

SAT: Why did you choose to enter an American pageant and not any of the Indian-American pageants that exist?
SI: Most of the South Asian girls living in the US only participate in Indian American Pageants and somehow do not enter the mainstream. I really wanted to break that cycle and participate in the Miss Teen USA.

SAT: I’ve heard that you ultimately want to become a TV anchor, what about acting or modeling? Are those areas you want to pursue as well?
SI: It is hard to make modeling or acting a career! I would love to do that in my free time. Recently, I have been doing fashion shows and I really enjoy them. For a long-term career, I would definitely want to be in media, either reporting news or entertainment.

SAT: You’ll be entering the Miss Teen USA pageant in a few weeks – how do you feel about that? Are you nervous or are you going to win?
SI: I am nervous about the stage interview since I really need a lot of preparation for that. NY State has assigned a personal trainer and a pageant coach for me so I will start my vigorous training with them shortly. I am definitely going with the mindset of winning! Root for me!

SAT: Any final message for our readers Sana?
SI: I have got a lot of love and admiration from the South Asian community living in NY. Please give me your best wishes and blessings and I will be able to bring the Miss Teen USA crown to NY!