Imphal: Banner Lanamai James from Manipur’s Senapati district won the first Rubaru Mr India Youth Icon 2022 title of the 18th edition of Rubaru Mr India 2022 championship on Wednesday.

The grand finale was held at Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park in Chennai.

“India here comes our first Rubaru Mr India Youth Icon 2022 winner from Manipur, @banner_lanamai_james. Many congratulations to the young gentleman,” wrote the pageant organisers on Facebook.

Standing tall at 6 feet, the 22-year-old youth also won the best National Costume in the pageant contest, showcasing the festive costume of the Poumai Naga tribe.

According to James, the entire collection in his wardrobe for the competition was hand woven by his mother.

“Every pattern and motif in the costume tells a story and every colour used reflects the beauty of nature. The traditional headgear signifies sunrise, bringing light and energy, the celebration of life,” James said in a video presentation for the pageant.

“When I am wearing this exuberant costume, I am confident to stand in the presence of gods and goddesses,” the Rubaru Mr India Youth Icon 2022 added.

Currently based in New Delhi, James is pursuing his master’s degree in English, linguistics and literature.

He is a polyglot and can speak four languages, including English, Manipuri, Hindi and Nagamese.

Also read | Seven from Manipur selected for India U-17 women’s FIFA world cup team

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