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Ananya Vinay Wins Scripps National Spelling Bee 2017.

Yet another year of the Scripps National Spelling Bee saw a child of Indian-descent child come out on top with Ananya Vinay of Fresno, California taking home the cash prize worth of $40,000 on Thursday. The winning word for this year's contest was "marocain," which is a dress fabric made of warp of silk or rayon and a filling of other yarns.

Vinay was crowned the winner of the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee after she spelling 35 words correctly. "It was interesting to go back-and-forth for so many rounds," Vinay said. 

Edmond, Oklahoma eighth-grader Rohan Rajeev, also of Indian-descent, was the runner-up after misspelling the (https://twitter.com/ScrippsBee/status/870481363270590464) word "marram ," a type of coarse perennial grass. Both Rajeev and Vinay went head to head for almost 20 championship rounds spelling their words correctly.

Vinay's win was the first solo victory in three years at the spelling bee, with the competition previously ending in a tie since 2013.

The competition has been won consecutively by children of Indian descent for quite some time.

Last year's joint winners were 11-year-old Nihar Janga from Texas, and 13-year-old Jairam Hathwar from New York, while the 2015 Spelling Bee was won by Gokul Venkatachalam and Vanya Shivashankar.

Ansun Sujoe and Sriram Hathwar were the 2014 winners following Arvind Mahankali's win in 2013. Snigdha Nandipati won in 2012, Sukanya Roy in 2011 and Anamika Veeramani in 2010.

The 2009 winner was incidentally the 2015 joint winner Vanya Shivashankar's elder sister, Kavya Shivashankar, according to (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-36410860) reports.

Analysts have tried to study how an ethnic group making up less than one percent of the U.S. population dominates the Spelling Bee, a (http://www.businessinsider.in/Why-Indian-American-children-keep-winning-the-National-Spelling-Bee/articleshow/52471154.cms) report  said. Shalini Shankar, head of the Asian American Studies Program at Northwestern University has been studying this pattern for some years and said the trend of Indian winners is due to them belonging to a minor-league spelling circuit invoking strong sense of community.

Moreover, the history of South Asians immigrating to the U.S. also contributes to this ethnic community's spelling success, Shankar said.

For instance, the 1965 Hart-Cellar Act gave way for highly trained immigrants from Asia and other regions to meet the need for scientists, engineers and medical professionals in the U.S. Gradually, skilled people from South Asia migrated to the U.S., taking along their family too.

Read: (http://www.ibtimes.com/national-spelling-bee-2017-live-stream-how-watch-spellers-cracking-scripps-contest-2545711) All You Need To Know About National Spelling Bee 2017

Currently, South Asian ethnic groups constitute a diverse population representing a disproportionately high professional class doing very well in education.

Having close-knit families is another factor behind the successive wins of Indian-origin children, according to (http://www.npr.org/2012/05/29/153898668/why-indian-americans-reign-as-spelling-bee-champs) NPR.

"It's stunning!" said Pawan Dhingra, a curator at the Smithsonian Institution's Asian Pacific American Program.

"The fact that Indians would ever win is noteworthy. The fact that they would win more than once is impressive," he says. "But the fact that they would win at such a dominating level becomes almost a statistical impossibility. It's phenomenal, really. There is more than randomness going on."

Dhingra said Indian Americans are likely to devote their time more on competitions and academic achievements, along with the fact they live in a tight knit family domain helps in the child's training as well as their success in various contests.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Jun 2, 2017
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