Nuns in Pink, Myanmar
Burma presently has a population of approximately thirty million with an overwhelming majority (75%) of Theravada Buddhists. The Sangha census held in 1980 show 300,000 males wearing the Buddhist robes of a monk (bhikkhu) or a novice (samanera), and approximately 30,000 females in robes, that is, Buddhist nuns referred to as sila-rhan (pronounced thila-shin, meaning "owners of virtue").
The nuns in Burma had a great period of revival and prosperity during the sasana reforms sponsored by King Mindon, who built the royal city of Mandalay and held the Fifth Buddhist Council there in the second half of the nineteeth century.
The most prominent nuns at that time were Saya Kin and May Nat Pe, two orphans of war from Manipur (now India) who reached Burma in early childhood and were adopted by a royal minister. At Sagain and Mingun in Upper Burma, just across the river from Mandalay, on the banks of the Irrawaddy, there are hundreds of nunneries even today - a veritable "kingdom of nuns."
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