The coup in Myanmar caught a fair few people off guard. While tensions have been brewing between the democratically elected leaders and the military for ages now, Monday’s dawn raids still came as a surprise. That’s especially true for Burmese aerobics instructor Daw Khing Hnin Wai.
While recording an aerobics session in the capital city of Naypyidaw, Khing Hnin Wai seems not to have heard the military convoy apparently on its way to raid the offices of now-deposed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior government officials.
Who could blame her? Her music slaps and she’s clearly giving us everything with this routine.
A woman did her regular aerobics class out in open without realizing that a coup was taking place in #Myanmar. A Military convoy reaching the parliament can be seen behind the woman as she performs aerobics. Incredible! pic.twitter.com/gRnQkMshDe
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) February 1, 2021
First things first: the song our fitness queen is going off to is “Ampun Bang Jago” by Indonesian duo Tian Storm x Ever Slkr. And yes, it’s available on Spotify.
Khing Hnin Wai is actually a high school PE teacher. She already had a bit of a following on Facebook from posting aerobics videos, but this last one really sent her viral.
“Before I knew about this news in the morning, I was doing my normal thing and was recording a video for a competition. I guess this video is now my little keepsake!” she wrote.
“As I was dancing, helicopters were going whirl-whirl-whirl, cars going vroom-vroom. With all the guns, I thought someone was aiming at me from a distance.”
The original video has been shared more than 18,000 times on Facebook. It’s also blown up on Reddit, where it got over 170,000 upvotes, and Twitter.
In a country where the media is heavily censored and all news broadcasts were completely cut off during the coup, Khing Hnin Wai’s aerobics routine actually serves to document the events of the day in a way the media couldn’t.
Aung San Suu Kyi is now back in detention. It’s eerily similar to the 15 years she spent under house arrest in the 90s and 2000s. Myanmar’s recent democratic strides have been undone in a single day.
But it’s also worth noting that both Aung San Suu Kyi and the military oversaw/defended the Rohingya genocide that’s still ongoing.
It’s a messy, messy situation that has somehow managed to be condensed into an online aerobics video.