For the very first time in the history of Indian pageantry, a national level male pageant conducted a National Costume competition. This first of its kind move was made by India’s biggest pageant for men – Rubaru Mr. India, this year (2021). In this special segment, the candidates were asked to come up with costumes that could display the colorful and diverse beauty of various parts of India. Each candidate created a proper video showcasing his costume and explaining its significance. At the grand finale of the pageant, the Best National Costume award was awarded to the candidate who was able to showcase and explain his costume in the best way. This first of a kind award was awarded to Manipur’s Songashim Rungsung, who later on won the national championship – Rubaru Mr. India as well.
While talking about his national costume in an online interview, with the vice-president of the organization, Pankaj Kharbanda, Songashim mentioned, “The costume is the traditional attire of my village – Talui in Manipur. It is worn by the Tangkhul Naga tribe. My friends in my village gave me the costume that I wore during the national costume segment. The spear that I carried along with the costume was given to me by the Manipuri community in Karnataka. We had to travel to a remote place to shoot the video to match the concept behind the costume and give it a more realistic appearance. I had to walk barefoot as it did not have a footwear. I had leaches on me as we were in the woods and it started raining while we were filming the video. However, we were able to complete the video properly in time. I would like to thank my friends and my mentors who supported me in this. They are not professional photographers and cinematographers, however, they tried their best to make the video look as good as possible. That is why I believe it is their victory as well. It is the victory of our team.”
Songashim Rungsung is the first winner of Best National Costume award at Rubaru Mr. India competition. This award was launched this year (2021). He is also the very first Rubaru Mr. India winner from Manipur. The vice president of the organization, Pankaj Kharbanda even added that Songashim was the first candidate to submit his national costume project and he has been extremely punctual throughout the pageant. As part of Songashim’s victory at the Rubaru Mr. India 2020-21 contest, he has been chosen to serve as India’s representative at the biggest and oldest running international male pageant based in the Philippines – Mister United Continents.