Playing with Dolls to Fight a Military Coup in Myanmar

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A neighborhood in Yangon, Myanmar, has innovated a unique method of protesting. Citizens are laying out traditional dolls, known as “Pyit Taing Htaung”, as their stand-ins, rather than protesting through physically gathering.

These dolls are being placed throughout the streets of Yangon to represent the resilience of to people of Myanmar, symbolizing their will to stand against the bloody coup of the military.

Pyit Taing Htaung dolls are known for their ability to always land upright when placed/ thrown. The phrase “Pyit Taing Htaung” is most literally translated to “when you throw it, it stands up every time”. This sentiment echoes the unwavering spirits of the protestors, who stand in opposition to the violence of the military that they have been, and continue to be, subjected to.

This movement has become an alternative to the previous, in-person methods of protest that citizens had been following. This is due to the extreme violence and danger that protestors were at risk because of the military’s aggression. During the country’s most violent day of protests, 39 people were killed. Since then protesters have sought an alternative, and hopefully safer, alternatives to continue expressing their disapproval of the coup.

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