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San Diego State University

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2012 International Photo Contest Winners

Theme - Culture: Language, Symbols, Customs, and Traditions


Alexandria Warneke

Independent Work Abroad Experience, 2011


Tales from the Tikina

Viti Levu, Fiji



Maintaining a culture rich in tribal customs, the Fijian people have relied on their lands and adjacent seas for over a millennia. With this direct connection to the environment, they take from the sea only what they need to sustain, an ancient lesson worth taking to heart.

Second Place 

Gwyndolyn James

Marriott Overseas Management Training Internship, 2012

Forbidden City Bride

Beijing, China 



In China, weddings symbolize the union of two families.  Such a monumental celebration includes extravagant photography and banquets.  Traditional bridal gowns are red: symbolizing good luck and joy. As a student studying Meeting and Event Management, I am thankful to experience different culture's special event rituals. 


Linda Duling
Independent Study Abroad Program, Semester at Sea, 2012

Tree of Nazar Cappadocia





In Turkish culture, the evil eye symbol, called the Nazar, is used to protect against the evil eye which is a look that can cause injury or bad luck. I noticed this tree outside of the underground cities perhaps to ward off invaders. 


Shaan Couture

Independent Research (Graduate), 2012


Brazilian Capoeira in Salvador

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil



Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art invented by slaves in the 16th century. With rebellion in mind, slaves practiced fighting, but to avoid alarming any suspicion, they made it look like they were dancing. During a solidarity action in a slum, kids showed their appreciation by sharing their