By Khin Phone Moet
A mat was laid out in the middle of a courtyard, and a woman was sitting in a ready position. And right beside her, two women were there in the same manner, too.
After that, it was seen that a man-made one of the women’s hair tie up to be neat and tidy. Some men and women were sitting around them and seemed to encourage them.
At that moment, the sound of a song appeared, “We will be holding grudge until the world ends…… The historical song was written by our blood….”
Once the song came up, the man started cutting the sitting woman’s hair.
With the tune of the song, the woman’s hair became less and less and finally, all the hair went away.
The next two ladies followed suit. They had their hair shaved off.
This was the Challenge by three Myanmar ladies in England, which was to shave heads to get donations for The Spring Revolution.
The funds received from the Challenge have been intended to donate to the war-torn people from the Sagaing region and on the day of the Challenge, over ten thousand British pounds were collected.
It can be seen that women have participated in the revolution whatever it has to do since the beginning of the Spring Revolution.
And now the women implemented the Challenge to raise funds by shaving heads to get aid funds and donate to the war-ravaged regions.
When most people in Burma join the order of Sasana Order (religious order), or when the weather is hot, or when some sort of disease is infected and other conditions, they have their heads shaved off. Yet in some countries, people shave their heads only when they are in the condition of chemotherapy for cancer or other health problems.
“Normally we don’t shave our heads. As a Challenge for Myanmar, we shaved off our heads for the sake of Myanmar”, said Ma Lwin who participated in this fundraising activity.
Ma Lwin, a resident of UK, is one of the active participants in every fundraising event and other activities which support the Spring Revolution since the coup in Myanmar.
Though she had thought about shaving her head beforehand, she didn’t do it. But when she saw the women of the revolution who shaved their heads. Then, she decided to go through it.
Ma Lwin is one of the ladies who value her hair and she molded her hair curly once in her life.
It is very rare for her to have her head shaved off except for the time when joining the nunnery at the age of 16.
She said that she didn’t take much care of her hair but she loved it. However, she is not stingy for abandoning her hair for the revolution.
In spite of having other ways of fundraising, Ma Lwin chose the head-shaven ways as she would like to explain the others about the Myanmar revolution. When someone asks her why she had her head shaved off till the hair doesn’t grow long enough, whenever they see the clean-shaven head, she would like to talk about Myanmar’s current situation.
As a woman, cutting the hair off is an unusual movement. And her motive is that the other famed artists of Myanmar and abroad could join in the Challenge and be collected a lot of funds from it.
At the time of shaving my head, I felt deeply hurt and felt pleasure simultaneously.
Ma Lwin admitted, “I am at a loss and feel deep bitterness as our people of Middle Burma (Anyar region) are losing their lives and their houses have been burnt down. For them I resent and I am stumped for the activity we did what we could”.
Like Ma Lwin, the other lady who joined the head shaving Challenge was Ma Thiri, a regular participant in revolution activities.
Expatriate activists like Ma Thiri are seeking funds for the revolution in varied means and on weekends they raised funds by cooking, selling, playing golf, walking, hiking, parachuting, and playing football.
For ordinary citizens, it is very hard to collect a lot of funds for the revolution but celebrities can.
Ma Thiri assumed that the Challenge of shaving the head is weird as well as can get much attention.
As she would like to do sacrifices for the revolution as much as she could, she joined the Challenge, even though she participates in every revolution-related activity.
“While I was having the head shaved off, I took a deep feeling on my country and have always seen photos of war-torn people, towns, villages, buildings, and refugees, so I made a solemn wish to be peaceful in my country as soon as possible. Though I could not afford much support for the revolution, I hope this kind of act would be a grain of sand for the foundation of provision. I kept that in my heart”, Ma Thiri admitted.
As they are not celebrities, they are afraid that they could not get much funds, but in reality, they could collect a heap of money that they didn’t expect.
As the commemoration of the 8888 Uprising of Myanmar, they appropriated 8888 British pounds to be collected, yet they raised funds of more than ten thousand pounds on that day.
Besides, one of their friends who came to cheer them took the Challenge and had her head shaved off, too.
As for Ma Thiri, she seldom had her head shaved off except for the time when she was ordained as a nun in her childhood.
She didn’t feel indecisive at all costs to give up her hair when the situation called for the revolution.
“With my clean-shaven head, I don’t think of others’ words and what it can be if I don’t have hair. In my mind, I do the good deed and then can get funds and will be directly transferred to the necessary places of Myanmar at once. If so, I can do whatever it may be and I would like to contribute to it, too.”, admitted Ma Thiri.
Like Ma Lwin and Ma Thiri, another lady named Ma Thae followed suit. Ma Thae is the initiator of the idea of a shaving head-Challenge.
Ma Thae thought of getting many funds in different ways and then she got the idea of shaving head –Challenge. Like Ma Thiri and Ma Lwin, she seldom had her hair shaved off except the time when she was ordained as a nun in her childhood. She herself made her hair in varied ways of styles of short or curly or straight at will.
Hair plays a somewhat vital part for Ma Thae, still, when it appeared to use the hair for the revolution, she readily gave up her hair without thinking twice.
She said that she felt happiness and sadness during shaving her head clean.
“I felt pleasure what I could do for those who have been running away from home and were homeless. My hair will grow again when it has to be, but thinking of the people who are running away from their homes, I resented them”, said Ma Thae.
She said with laughter, ”As I am not used to being a clean-shaved head, I am still looking for a hair band before taking bath.”
The funds that can be collected from the Challenge will be clearly seen in the donation link and the donations will be obviously found there, too.
The collected funds will be donated to war-torn people and refugees from Sagaing region via the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management of the National Unity Government.
The Challenger-taking ladies urged the celebrities of Myanmar inside and outside and brothers and sisters of the revolution to join the Challenge and to be handover from them.
“In your surrounding as ordinary people, you can make this Challenge like I am going to show you the Challenge and please donate me. Not only celebrities, all the brothers and sisters of the revolution, friends who like to donate for the revolution would join in The Head-Shaved Challenge and please make it active”, they encouraged with loving-kindness.