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Indian Americans continued their domination in Spelling Bees, Scripps, Spelling Bee, INDIANS, HYDERABAD, SPElling bee PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 31 May 2013 08:40
Indian Americans continued their domination in Spelling Bees.
speeIndian Americans continued their domination of the U.S.’s national spelling bee competition, producing the sixth champion in a row in the annual orthographical challenge.
Arvind Mahankali, 13, from New York correctly spelled “knaidel” (a German word for a mass of leavened dough) to win the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday.
The three finalists were all of Indian origin this year and Indian American interest in the competition has increased since 1999 after Nupur Lala, who won the Bee that year, featured in a 2002 documentary called “Spellbound.”
Academics have put the success of Indians in spelling bees down to factors including highly educated immigrant parents and the Indian educational system’s emphasis on rote learning.
But spelling bees in India are still a relatively new concept.
India’s first national spelling competition, run by Housing Development Finance Corp. 500010.BY -1.39% Ltd., began in 2016 inspired by the U.S version. This year 250,000 children aged between nine and 14, applied to take part. The finals were held in Mumbai in February. Around 11 million children applies for the U.S. version.
Nanda Kumar, who runs India Spell Bee, a competing spelling competition that began nine years ago, thinks schools in Indian don’t consider spelling competitions as important academically and put a greater focus on other subjects.

“Many students in India are exceptionally good at science and math, but not as good at English,” Mr. Kumar told India Real Time. “Their vocabulary is not very developed and less importance is put on the understanding of English than other subjects.”

Many Indian schools prefer to enter students for math and science Olympiads, rather than spelling competitions, he said.
But, he added, interest in spelling is growing thanks to the success of Indian Americans in the U.S. competition.

His organization will run their first national-level spelling contest this December, with regional heats starting in the country’s main cities in July. Indian Institutes of Technology in Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai will host the regional events before the final in Bangalore.

The organization received a boost last year when Snigdha Nandipati, whose family come from Andhra Pradesh, won the U.S. spelling competition. “A T.V. channel in Andhra Pradesh sponsored our first state-wide competition this year in Andhra and 25,000 children took part,” Mr. Kumar said.
Words that Arvind got right to win the 86th championship.
Galere — a group having a common quality
Crapaud –a large Caribbean toad
Kaumographer — one transferring designs to clothing
Dehnstufe — an Indo-European long-grade vowel
Thonnier — a Breton tuna-fishing boat
Trichocercous — having a spiny tail

List of some of the words in the Sakshi T.V. India Spell Bee held in Hyderabad in February.
Pyrrhic — a war dance of ancient Greece
Shenanigan — an act of treachery, deception
Ambrosia –anything particularly delightful to taste or smell. The food of the Greek gods.
Hullabaloo — loud confused noise
Bariatric – of or relating to the treatment of obesity
Chimaera – a fire-breathing monster with the head of a lion, body of a goat, and tail of a serpent. Also a type of fish.
Entente — a French word meaning ‘understanding’

–WAll STREET JOURNAL,Aditi Malhotra contributed to this post.
Last Updated on Friday, 31 May 2013 09:01