K-Pop India Contest 2020: Imphal Regional Round Winners

Sonali Sharma, Tezpur, Assam

Imphal Regional Round of the K-Pop India Contest 2020 was conducted online on 24th July 2020 at 12:00 p.m. IST on the YouTube channel K POP Manipur 2020. Here is an excerpt from the statements of the winners of the Dance and Vocal categories and the Regional Round organiser kpopmanipur2020 regarding their experience of this event.

Picture Credits: kpopmanipur2020

Dance Category

Ms. Leishimi Cynthia Hongray (Winner)

Hi, my name is Leishimi Cynthia Hongray and I’m 17 years old. I am the winner of Imphal regional round in the Dance category. I was around 7-8 years old when my older sister and aunt got me exposed to K-Pop group Wonder Girls, through the song ‘So Hot.’ I really love Seventeen and NCT. My dream is to become a K-Pop idol. In order to take a step closer to my dream and experience more things in life, I decided to participate in this K-pop contest. Whenever I got the time, even if it is one hour, I would dance every day. I was really nervous, but at the same time, was very excited as it was my first time participating. I never thought I would win this year’s regionals! It was really unexpected because I had no experience or professional knowledge. I would like to give special thanks to the judges and the people who had supported me. To the future participants, I would like to encourage them to never give up, even though failures come their way because, through every experience, we learn to grow stronger If you do what you love to do, anything is possible. Take the negative experiences with a positive mindset to improve yourself.

Ms. Thaja Khangembam (First Runner-up)

Hi, I am Thaja Khangembam and I am 21 years old. I am the first runner-up of the Imphal Regional Round in the Dance category. I came to know about K-Pop through a friend. I’m usually into hip-hop dance and never really knew about K-Pop until one of my friends told me about an upcoming dance competition, which was Changwon 2018. My favorite idol is Lisa from Blackpink. I just love her dance moves and like her personality in general. Participating in this contest was a bit over my head since I always performed with my group Firehawks and do things together. Participating alone was nerve-wracking but my team-mates were supportive as I practiced the moves. To be honest, I really didn’t think l would be selected but nonetheless, l was shocked and happy to be one of the winners. It helped me to become more confident and to achieve my dream of becoming a dancer. I am not really good with words but if I have to say something to the ones who are planning to participate in the contest in the future: It’s a fun and learning experience even if you don’t win you did what you love and it counts.

Ms. Ks Shanti Maring (Second Runner-up)

Hi, I’m Ks Shanti Maring and I am 21 years old. I am the second runner-up of the Imphal Regional Round in the Dance category. I came to know about K-pop through YouTube. My favorite idol is BTS. As I was always interested in dancing, so I thought about participating in this K-pop contest. This was my first time. Actually, I didn’t have a mentor nor anyone to teach me. So, in my leisure time, I practiced myself watching from the phone and learning it. Honestly, I was so excited when I was announced as one of the top 3 winners and it was unbelievable. It paid off all my hard work. To those who are planning to participate in the contest, I would like to say: Give your very best and work hard. It is also a kind of experience in your life. Don’t give up on your dream. Be yourself, Hwaiting!

Vocal Category

Ms. Hidangmayum Jayashree Sharma (Winner)

Hi, I’m Hidangmayum Jayashree Sharma and I am 20 years old. I am the winner of the Imphal Regional Round in the Vocal category. I was introduced to K-Pop back in 2013 when I was in the 9th standard. My favourite idol is BTS. I always wanted to participate in the K-Pop contest but I couldn’t since I have not been in India from the past few years but this time, I got the chance. I learned how to perfectly speak and pronounce the Korean lyrics as I practiced the song so many times. I was not expecting to be the winner, but I’m really happy. My advice to those who will be participating in the future would be: To be yourself and not compare oneself to anyone else and practice a lot to make yourself proud.

Mr. Zarenthung Yanthan (First Runner-up)

Hello, My name is Zarenthung Yanthan. I’m 22 years old and I am the first runner-up of the Imphal Regional Round in the Vocal category. It was eleven years ago when I was introduced to a K-Drama named ‘Autumn in My Heart” and its OST ‘Reason’ sung by Jung II-young got my attention and that’s how I discovered K-Pop. I admire all the artists but my favorite is Rosé of Blackpink. I came to know about the K-pop India Contest 2020 when I came across a post shared by my friend. I worked hard on my pronunciation, diction, stage presence, and technique to give full justice to the song. I was surprised when I was declared as the first runner-up. I was shocked because it was a very tough competition. My message to the future participants is to be true to themselves, work hard, and be dedicated to what you do for one’s talent should not be wasted. There is a saying that there is no shortcut to any success or achievements. So, one should never doubt their inner talent and should have the confidence to explore what the world and life has to offer.

Ms. Terishma Karbia (Second Runner-up)

Hi, I’m Terishma Karbia and I am 23 years old. I am the second runner-up of the Imphal Regional Round in the Vocal category. I came to know about K-Pop way back during the first-generation idol’s era like SNSD, Wonder Girls, TVXQ, SS501, and BoA, and even today I’m still a K-pop fan. My favorite idol group is the WINNER. I started being their fan ever since their reality program, WIN Who Is Next. This is my second time participating in the K-Pop Contest. Unfortunately, the first time I didn’t win anything but it was a great experience for me. I sing Korean songs in my day to day life so that gave me some advantage while preparing for the contest. I’m glad and satisfied with the results. I would say K-Pop contest is a great platform for anyone who is interested in K-Pop but doesn’t have the opportunity to show off their talents. Give your best and hope for the best.

Regional Round Organiser: Korean Culture and Arts Centre Imphal

It was our first experience of organising a K-pop competition on YouTube or on any online platform and we were quite anxious but also excited at the same time. With the continuous meetings of members through Zoom and Whatsapp, and also recollecting from our own past experiences, we executed the event. Despite the current COVID-19 situation, the response was really good. We honestly didn’t expect such an amazing response from the audience. This year’s competition has been a memorable one, the kind that we will talk about for a long time. We are grateful to KCCI for giving us the opportunity to host the event for the Imphal Regional Round. We hope to host more of Korean related events in the upcoming days.

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