Indian Immigrants Win Big At National Spelling Bees

1983 spelling bee championship i i

hide captionBalu Natarajan, front right, poses with other Indian-American contestants at the 1983 National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

1983 spelling bee championship

Balu Natarajan, front right, poses with other Indian-American contestants at the 1983 National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Others pictured: Sanjay Patel (rear left), Malini Annamalai, Bindhu Gopalan, Balu Natarajan, Mini Chadha.

At last week's annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, 13-year-old Kavya Shivshankar claimed victory. Shivshankar is the ninth Indian-American to win the title, and was one of six to make it to the finals. In 1985, Balu Natarajan became the first Indian-American champion at age 13.

Natarajan tells how he became interested in competitive spelling and explains why he thinks Indians have excelled in the Bee.

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