Burmese Buddhist nuns


Burmese Buddhist young nuns collecting food offerings. Nyaungshwe, Myanmar (Burma)

Girls and women enter the monastic life, shave their heads, take ordination vows and practive meditation and reading scriptures just as male monks do. They don’t perform ceremonies though or travel overseas.

The nuns are called sila-rhan (pronounced thila-shin) which means the “keeper of morality.” That’s a tall order for a girl of any age, but Myanmar’s nuns bear the title with cheerful humility. Often, they have left home at an early age to live in the nunnery, where they spend their time in service to the community, collecting alms, teaching, studying and meditating.


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