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The fearless ones: 'Kung Fu Nuns' changing the world

By 27.7.2023         Mail Now Send Mail   Post Comments
A mesmerizing fusion of spirituality and martial arts thrives in the rugged terrains of the Himalayas. Among the lofty peaks of Ladakh, India and Nepal, a unique sisterhood of 'Kung Fu Nuns' transcends the traditional boundaries of religion and gender.

The 'Kung Fu Nuns' is an unusual group that has been shattering centuries-old stereotypes while combining service, activism, and martial arts with serene Buddhist practices.

Their remarkable story is one of the determination, transformation, and fearlessness that transcends borders and offers lessons of resilience and empowerment.

The Kung Fu Nuns hail from the Drukpa lineage, an ancient Buddhist sect that has its roots deep in the heart of the Himalayas.

Guided by the dynamic leadership of the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, this extraordinary group started their journey of martial arts in 2008, breaking the long-standing Buddhist law prohibiting nuns from physical training. Named Jigme, meaning "fearless one," these nuns embody audacity and grit, taking spirituality to new horizons.

However, the journey hasn't always been smooth. The nuns have faced immense backlash from more conservative sects, even facing threats of their nunneries being burnt. But the fearless nuns remain undeterred, growing in number, with nearly 800 nuns across various nunneries in Ladakh and along the Himalayas.

Contrary to traditional roles where nuns were confined to tasks like cooking and cleaning, the Kung Fu Nuns are encouraged to drive, lead prayers, and acquire various trade skills, from plumbing to typing, solar panel installation, and even the English language.

Their intense Kung Fu training, which often stretches to 8 to 10 hours daily, underscores their belief that physical fitness and spirituality are complementary facets of personal growth.

Their mission, however, extends beyond spiritual and physical development. The Kung Fu Nuns are ardent environmentalists and social activists, pedalling across India and Nepal to promote world peace and green transportation, and trudging the Himalayan expanse to collect plastic waste.

Their commitment to service came to the forefront in 2015 when Nepal was devastated by a 7.9-magnitude earthquake. They swiftly became relief workers, distributing aid with the support of the international non-profit, Live to Love.

The nuns also took up the colossal task of building 201 homes for the earthquake victims, demonstrating a profound commitment to community welfare.

The Kung Fu Nuns are not just about breaking barriers; they are about building bridges. They are part of the Live to Love Eye Camps, assisting doctors in providing free cataract surgeries. They epitomize the ideal of service above self, becoming beacons of hope in the face of despair.

Their extraordinary journey and inspiring endeavours have attracted global recognition. In 2012, their Kung Fu prowess led to an invitation to London for demonstrations as part of the pre-Olympic celebrations. Their impact reached new heights when they received the prestigious "Game Changer Award" in 2019 from the Asia Society, becoming the first all-female group of honourees.

More recently, the Delhi Commission for Women honoured the Kung Fu Nuns on International Women's Day, acknowledging their extraordinary achievements in women empowerment, disaster relief, environmental conservation, and societal transformation.

The Kung Fu Nuns are an exceptional testament to the power of the human spirit, their saga an inspiration for every woman striving for equality and every individual aspiring for a harmonious blend of physical and spiritual growth.

These 'fearless ones' have not only transformed themselves but have also sparked a beacon of hope, signalling a new dawn for gender equality, environmental sustainability, and societal reform. As they continue their journey, they carry with them the wisdom of the Himalayas and a vision of an empowered and enlightened world.

TAGS: Kung Fu Nuns,   Jigme,   Drukpa lineage,   Buddhist sect,   Gyalwang Drukpa,   fearless one,   Ladakh,   Nepal,   Kung Fu,   Live to Love,   Game Changer Award,  

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