- Evanjelin Elchmanar on her visit to Sri Lanka, the upcoming pageant, and more
She’s the beauty, she’s the brains, she’s Miss International UK. Born in France to Sri Lankan parents, Evanjelin Elchmanar moved to the UK and is now a British citizen. She has been making waves in the beauty industry since her crowning as ‘Miss Teen Great Britain’ in October 2017, and most recently she was crowned ‘Miss International UK 2021/2022’ during the fifth edition of the national beauty pageant in the UK.
Having studied English literature, geography, and art in college, Evanjelin went on to graduate from a private acting institution in Canada that is partnered with Netflix. Her next step is to compete in Miss International that will soon be held in Japan, after which she will return to a promising career in the film industry.
Brunch caught up with her for an interview during her visit to Sri Lanka. Following are excerpts:
What piqued your interest in the modelling industry and beauty pageants?
My mom was a Community Development Worker, and before I participated in pageants, I would always go with my mom to her events. I would attend charity events and shows while travelling all around England and the UK where I would perform dancing and singing acts.
With pageantry one of the main aspects is charity work, so that’s how I got involved in advocacy and began focusing on charity.
Dressing up wasn’t the purpose for me, but now I’ve grown to love it because I can use my platform to reach a larger audience where I can talk about topics like sustainability and other local projects that need a bigger voice.
How did you find your experience with the Miss International UK pageant?
Pageants in the UK have always been so much fun; ever since I competed when I was 14 at the Miss Teen Inspiration pageant in the UK, I fell in love with pageants. When I won Miss Teen Great Britain at the age of 16, it became a great memory and it provided me with great opportunities to travel the world and I really hope I can continue to move forward in the pageant industry.
You’ve come to Sri Lanka for tourism purposes, what are your goals for the duration of your stay?
My goal for my visit to Sri Lanka is to, first of all, get a better understanding and experience its culture for myself so I can explain to people what Sri Lanka is all about. I’ve recently created my own charity organisation named Climate Exchange, where we’ll be educating children, single mothers, and women about sustainability through arts and other local projects.
During my stay here, I will also be focusing on initiating a project with the Apeksha Cancer Hospital where I will be providing them with copper water bottles that are hygienic and sustainable and will help reduce plastic consumption.
How has Sri Lanka treated you so far?
So far, I feel incredibly blessed that I have had the opportunity to experience all the culture. I’m very grateful for all the hospitality that all the Sri Lankan citizens have shown me – I’m a fellow Sri Lankan myself so I’ve always been surrounded by very humble Sri Lankan people and I’m glad I got the same opportunity here during my visit as well.
I started my journey in December and I’m currently on the way to Galle. So far I’ve had a forum, I’ve visited the lighthouse, the Parliament, as well as some temples, and I’ve enjoyed the experience so far.
I’ve also been doing many magazines and photoshoots. I’ve been insanely busy but I love it here!
As a tourist, are there any aspects of the Sri Lankan tourism industry that you would suggest we improve?
I’m loving how everyone has treated me so far. Everything has been notably organised and I hope that it will continue to be this way. I hope that during my conference, I can help with creating a more functional tourism aspect in Sri Lanka – I have a few ideas that I hope will come to fruition for future tourists.
Do you hope to continue in the beauty industry or take up a career in the film industry?
My grandmother from my mother’s side was actually a well-known actress in Sri Lanka and I’ve always seen and had her as an inspiration, which I think is where my interest in film was born from; I feel like she and I are connected in a way.
I’ve always loved watching movies and films and I’ve looked up to the actors and how they use their platform to speak about their beliefs and charity work as well. Many actors follow a certain charity belief along with their career as actors and I hope that I can follow in their footsteps and achieve this as well.
What is the message you want to put out with your platform?
I truly hope that we can create a more sustainable planet and reduce the amount of waste that we create. I want to change the way we live our day-to-day lives by incorporating small changes like reducing the amount of plastic waste in our household and using more sustainable materials. I hope to work together with nature to bring forward a safe and healthy planet that we can call home.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I will be going to Japan in October to participate in the Miss International pageant. Fun fact – I can fluently speak Japanese, so this will help me adjust better to the culture and people there too. I will be competing with over 50 girls from all over the world and experience the culture of Japan. I also aim to support more women because I honestly believe that we, as women, are all equal despite the difference in culture and our backgrounds.
During my stay, I aspire to become more fluent in Sinhala – I’ve been practising and I hope that soon I’ll be able to converse with no problems.
I also dearly hope that I can represent both the UK and Sri Lanka at Miss International and make them both proud.