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The Faces of a Foreign Land

My Photo scholarship 2010 entry

USA | Wednesday, 13 October 2010 | 5 photos


Traveling reinforces the concept that we live in such a small world. And the people we meet along our journeys make the most significant impacts. We remember spoken words and inherent gestures. We remember the moment we lock eyes with a stranger. We remember the apprehension of being in a land completely unfamiliar.

When I traveled to India, I left a changed individual. Photos only supplement my recollection, for the faces I witnessed are forever ingrained in my memory. My time in this foreign place helped me discover how similar we truly are – the gentle humanity that exists in our world.

Though the people of the India make up a major part of the country’s splendor, other characteristics cannot be ignored.
India is a country of colors – a vibrant arrangement of hues. Purples, oranges and reds dress women head to toe, while yellows, greens and pinks paint the sides of buildings.
India is a country of smells. But the sweetness of spices and fragrance of flowers are suffocated by the odiferous offense of urine and feces.

This country is a bedlam of juxtapositions. It is home to one of the greatest, modern wonders of the world surrounded by some of the most destitute beggars. It is a land of sanctity, defiled and divided by the corrupt Caste system. It is a country of inner beauty and external strife. India is paradox personified.

As a daughter of two flight attendants, travel is innate to me. This scholarship opportunity to Bhutan perfectly combines my passion for photography and love of learning. I am prepared to capture emotion – faces that tell stories of hardship from civil war and religious persecution, and I'm eager to document Bhutan’s natural beauty from historic architecture to ancient traditions. This culture is one I so long to discover.

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