Buddhist nuns in a Monastery in Sagaing Hill, Myanmar.
Myanmar-Burma has one of the largest concentrations of Buddhist nuns in the world. Burmese Buddhist nuns are not regarded as full female equivalents of the monks. Nuns are given the name ‘Thilashin’, which literally means ‘owner of good moral conduct’ and take a vow to keep eight or ten precepts, shave their heads and wear their distinctive pink and red robes. Burmese Buddhist nuns devote themselves to religious functions around the clock with the intention of lessening the responsibilities of the mundane world. In the greater Burmese religious community, Burmese nuns undertake roles as ritual specialists and along with monks, often officiate at religious ceremonies. Several places including Sagaing Hill near Mandalay and Nyuangshwe are important educational centres for Myanmar’s Buddhist nuns. (KarlGrobl-JimCline).
Sagaing is the capital of Sagaing Region (formerly Sagaing Division) in Myanmar. Located on the Ayeyarwady River, 20 km to the southwest of Mandalay on the opposite bank of the river, Sagaing with numerous Buddhist monasteries is an important religious and monastic center. The pagodas and monasteries crowd the numerous hills along the ridge running parallel to the river.
Sagaing was the capital of Sagaing Kingdom (1315–1364), one of the minor kingdoms that rose up after the fall of Pagan dynasty. During the Ava period (1364–1555), the city was the common fief of the crown prince or senior princes. The city briefly became the royal capital between 1760 and 1763 in the reign of King Naungdawgyi.
On August 8, 1988, Sagaing was the site of demonstrations which were concluded by a massacre in which around 300 civilians were killed