April 14, 2010

Kung-fu Nuns: Empowering Women in Nepal

Kung-fu Nuns

Nuns at the Druk Gawa Khilwa Abbey in Kathmandu have begun kung-fu classes. The BBC reports:

Rupa Lama, a 16-year-old nun from India, says kung fu helps her concentrate.

"It's good for our health. Meditation is very difficult and if we do kung fu, then afterwards meditation becomes much easier," she says.

Another nun, Konchok, also from India, says she likes kung fu because it gives her strength.

"It's very helpful for our safety. If somebody teases us or something, then we can hit them and be more powerful," she says.

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is also quoted in the article:

The main problem for nuns has always been that they have not normally had a good situation in which to live, they have not received the support from lay people that monks receive and they have not been educated.

So often nuns became basically just household servants for their families or working in the kitchens and the gardens in the monasteries.

Read the BBC report here. The Abby's website is here.

[Image: BBC]

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Tricycle » Return of the Kung-fu Nuns!'s picture

[...] the kung-fu nuns of Nepal? Well, they didn’t go anywhere. But TIME covered them: The word out of central Nepal is so [...]

Sifu Alex Lamas's picture

I just watched an interview with The Dalai Lama (in the film 10 Questions for The Dalai Lama) and even he believes in a proper self-defense and self preservation. Kung Fu is for knowledge and defense, never for attack or revenge. I can't tell how painful it is to watch local news and constantly hear of how women are abused, attacked or worse. And they don't have to be.

Steve Sybert's picture

Don't forget. Wing Chun Kung fu was invented by a woman ....a Buddhist nun. I don't know what style these nuns are practicing, but it's all good!

Mike's picture

Wonderful stuff. Conversely I had been hoping that meditation would improve my Kung Fu! A good comment about mindfulness above too- its almost impossible to not be in the moment when your legs are screaming at you to stop holding such difficult positions! Wonderful image too I would love to visit Nepal someday :)

Tanya's picture

it is so stupid to treat nuns differently from monks. Enough already constantly looking at presents of one particular genital, it is retarted to ignore mind and pay attention to procreative abilities, besides every male came out of female body and the whole universe can be said to be female, so I hope the discrimination based on gender would disappear someday.

Karen's picture

I expect some of some of these young girls have yet to undertake much formal study, so such a comment can perhaps be met with compassion from those of us who have had the benefit of an education

daniel's picture

isn't violence of any kind contrary to the budaha's teaching's.

Mj's picture

for safety sake they should be able to defend themselves. it is a shame that they are teased though....i'm sure no one teases the male monastics.

D-Train's picture

Sidartha might have reacted in that way at some point along the way. We all grow as we grow;-)

gr8fuldaniel's picture

“It’s very helpful for our safety. If somebody teases us or something, then we can hit them and be more powerful,”

Is THAT what Buddha would do? If somebody "teased" him?

Lucy Jones's picture

This is so excellent. Kung fu is an exercise in mindfulness and I am sure that it will be very beneficial to the nuns' meditation and health.