Barry McNamara  |   Published January 13, 2015

‘When Ganpati Ends’

Burton’s photo in India earns Associated Colleges of the Midwest award
A photo taken by Monmouth College senior Cassie Burton of Taylorville received an award in the annual off-campus photo competition sponsored by the Associated College of the Midwest (ACM).
 
Titled “When Ganpati Ends,” the photo was taken during Burton’s ACM: India study-abroad semester in Pune during the fall of 2013. Ganpati is a 10-day national holiday festival dedicated primarily to the Hindu god, Ganesh.
 
“Throughout the city, locals put up elaborate displays to Ganesh, including statues of all sizes and styles,” said Burton. “A group of students and I went to stand on the sidelines near the river on the last day of the festival, which is when all of the Ganesh idols head to the river in a long, hours-long procession. We were standing shoulder-to-shoulder, even back-to-back, with thousands of locals because all of the streets are jam-packed with people wanting to watch and send their praise to Ganesh.”
 
Burton is pleased with her decision to study off-campus, and it provided great experience for her ultimate career goal.
 
“It was surreal to spend time in a place as dynamic and complex as India,” she said. “The holidays, the way they celebrate, the clothes – all of it is incredible to experience firsthand. I’m glad I had the opportunity to go because it gave me an unforgettable experience – not just academically, but personally.”
 
An English major with a minor in journalism, Burton plans to travel after graduation.
 
“My overall goal is to be a journalist,” she added. “I’d like to work for an international news wire for a while, possibly get a master’s degree in international journalism, and eventually settle down on a beach somewhere working for a newspaper or magazine.”
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