2022 Global Spartan Photo Contest Winners

Each year, International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) invites students to participate in our Photo Contest and celebrate Global Spartan Month with us throughout March. Our goal is to share a variety of cultural perspectives through photography and short narratives. As such, each photo is accompanied by a 150-word-maximum narrative that explains the cultural significance of the photo to the photographer, answering the questions: What aspect of culture does this photo represent? Why is this photograph important to me?

Congratulations to our 2022 Photo Contest Winners and our Top 10 Finalists!

First Place & Winner of the Most Impactful Narrative

Sahib Bhatia

MS Computer Software Engineering, Home country: India

Cali Sun (Sahib Bhatia, 2022).

Moving to a whole new country, being unaware of the transportation system still having the urge to explore, i walked 10 miles that day clicking pictures, looking around the foodie kicked in & as I was enjoying my first pretzel ever, i clicked this picture in Downtown. I have been here exactly a month as of this moment and this reminds me of my first day & everything I overcame to be here.

Second Place

Shakti Ghewari

MS Engineering Industrial Management, Home country: India

Shambho (Shakti Ghewari, 2022)

Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in honor of God Shiva. Lord Shiva is one of the important figures in the Hindu belief. On one hand, he is known as destroyer. On the other, the most compassionate. He has power to grant wisdom or to ultimately destroy. He is said to have 1008 names, out of which one is mine “Shakti”. There is no Shiva without Shakti, or Shakti without Shiva.

Third Place

Shweta Ranganath

MS Engineering Management, Home country: India

Heritage (Shweta Ranganath, 2022)

The Mysore Palace has been the residence of the great Wodeyar family who ruled over the territory for over six centuries and modeled on Indo-Saracenic design style, the artwork in every part of the palace boasts of its incomparable beauty. It represents the religious aspect of culture. This photo is important to me as this photo is part of my legacy and I had clicked it in just 2 minutes.

Honorable Mentions

Sahib Bhatia

MS Computer Software Engineering, Home country: India

Everything starts with gratitude (Sahib Bhatia, 2022)

Being from a Sikh family I was always told how everything starts and ends with a blessing and gratitude from god and I always followed that, no questions asked. Why should it change when I move to a different country to pursue my biggest dream thats now turned a reality and all the more reason to thank him for everything he showered upon me and look for his blessing as I embark the journey!

Hetal Ankleshwaria

MS Electrical Engineering, Home country: India

Statue of Unity (Hetal Ankleshwaria, 2022)

I captured this photo during my last visit of India in December, 2021. This picture is important to me because which makes me proud about my home country India that how leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel has devoted their life in uniting princely states of India. It is the world’s tallest statue at 182 metres (597 ft). The statue has been described as a tribute to Indian engineering skills.

Hoi Ying (Clara) Chan

BM Music Education, Hometown: Hong Kong

Star Ferry at Victoria Harbor (Hoi Ying Chan, 2022)

Star Ferry is one of the must-try item for all tourists to Hong Kong. I took this picture when I visited my hometown during the winter break. Getting on the Star Ferry means I was appreciating the beauty Hong Kong from a tourist’s perspective. Capturing a clear blue sky is also rare in Hong Kong. So this picture becomes an important memory for me.

Street Stalls in Sham Shui Po District (Hoi Ying Chan, 2022)

Sham Shui Po is one of the districts with the lowest average income and living quality in Hong Kong. Interestingly, it is also one of my favorite places to visit as a teen. The absence of chain stores allows the historical local businesses to shine right here– flower stalls, shoeshiner, handmade wool clothings, and unique restaurants. In such a fast-paced city, I’m grateful having this place.

Jeet Parekh

MS Management Science, Home country: India

For the Gods (Jeet Parekh, 2022)

In all religions, the idea of God is central. The whole fabric of religious beliefs rests on that idea. If we understand how people see God, we can develop a pretty clear picture of how they see man, evil, salvation, and the future life.

Adarsh Narasimha Murthy

MS Computer Software Engineering, Home country: India

Bharatanatyam (Adarsh Narasimha, 2022)

This photo captures Samudra Guruswamy performing a dance in praise of Nataraja (the lord of dance in Hinduism) in Bharatanatyam style. She has her right hand in the “Abhaya Mudra”, which says to the devotee, “Be not afraid, for those who follow the path of righteousness will be protected”. Her left hand is pointing in an “elephant trunk” position to her feet which signifies salvation.

Deeposava (Adarsh Narasimha, 2022)

Deepotsava is a community festival typically celebrated in local temples, where devotees from the area gather to light lamps in the worship of the temple deity. It is believed that offering a lamp during this festival burns away past sins and brings auspiciousness. Here, we see a mother and daughter lighting lamps at a temple bringing back fond memories of the same with my mother.

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