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Demanding money…. with menaces? The “pink” nuns of Myanmar (Burma)

By on April 1, 2015 in Myanmar/Burma

The nuns are called sila-rhan (pronounced thila-shin), which means the “keeper of morality.”

I do feel a bit bad about the title of this post considering why the women become nuns, but their actions in the Bogyoke Market (Scotts Market) did make me wonder what was going on.

The “pink” nuns of Myanmar (Burma) - Nuns on the street

Nuns on the street

In the market I saw a number of them wandering around between the stalls. Each nun was immaculately turned out in their pink robes and their orange sash. Their heads were shaved, and they each carried a small bowl, which at first I assumed contained their lunch. I was wrong. I also couldn’t work out what they were doing in the market. They didn’t seem to be approaching the tourists, just moving from stall to stall.

The “pink” nuns of Myanmar (Burma) - Nuns in the market

Nuns in the market

At first I thought they were collecting food…. I was wrong.

The “pink” nuns of Myanmar (Burma) - Nuns collecting their blessing fee

Nuns collecting their blessing fee

It turns out it is all about money.

The nuns approach a stall and chant (sing), they then hold out the bowl and the stall holder gives them money. I can only assume that this chant is some sort of religious blessing. But what happens if the stall holder doesn’t pay, or want to receive the chant? No idea…

The next photo is possibly my favourite photo of the trip. I love the lighting and the look on the young nun’s face.

The “pink” nuns of Myanmar (Burma) - Nuns counting their money

Nuns counting their money

And again in this photo you can see the nuns counting their donations.

The “pink” nuns of Myanmar (Burma) - Nuns counting their money

Nuns counting their money

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Nick's continued wanderings can be followed on Twitter: @nickswanderings.
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