This Article is From Sep 01, 2015

Tamil Nadu-Born 9-Year-Old Twins Taking Australia's Spelling Bee by Storm

Tamil Nadu-born twins Harpita and Harpith are among the top 12 contestants on the Great Australian Spelling Bee.

Chennai: Barely nine years old, these Tamil Nadu-born twins have a vocabulary of nearly 50,000 words, which they have put to good use to figure among the top 12 contestants on the Great Australian Spelling Bee. The final contest is scheduled in two weeks.

Students of class three, Harpita and Harpith are not only good with spellings but their confidence and attitudes have fetched them fans across Down Under.

Australia's Channel 10 has even come out with a promo pitting the siblings against each other.

The siblings, who want to become doctors and serve the helpless free of cost, claim to have built their vocabulary over the last few years.

"The bedtime stories my parents shared with us prompted our interest in words and spellings. We look at the definition and origin of words, the pronunciation and categorise them. For example many French words end with ette," explains Harpita.

What's their favourite long word? Harpith says "Floccinaucinihilipilification". Some dictionaries define the 29-letter word as "The action or habit of estimating something as worthless".

Harpita's favourite is cafune', which means "the act of running your fingers through a loved one's hair" according to a few dictionaries.

For those aspiring to excel in spellings, Harpita has a message: "Don't memorise words, learn with passion and confidence".

Their proud parents, originally from Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, moved to Australia in 2007.

The master duo's father Pandian Annamalai, a software architect, said: "Give freedom to children, help them to be independent learners. Make it a joy".

Their mother Lakshmi Priya, a physiotherapist, said the two were not put under pressure to perform. "All they spend is half an hour daily to practice spellings," she added.