Myanmar aerobics teacher and dancer, Khing Hnin Wai, has become an overnight internet sensation after a video of her dancing against the backdrop of a convoy of military vehicles went viral. The motorcade was driving to a security checkpoint on the road leading to the parliamentary complex in the country’s capital Naypyidaw, as the military seized power in an early morning coup on Monday.
“I went out to dance and film myself this morning for the competition as usual,” the dancer posted on her Facebook page in Burmese. “While dancing I noticed that there were choppers and a lot of cars. I was worried if they were pointing at me with their guns.”
As she bent her arms back and forth and jumped along with the groove, a blaring siren arrived before the sight of the black military vehicles. However, she remained swayed by the sound and kept dancing as the music tempo built up.
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
Khing Hnin Wai, who claims to work as a physical education teacher at the Ministry of Education, started her workout routine back in November to prepare for a dance competition. In another Facebook post on Tuesday she said she did not realize what was going on at her back.
“I just thought this is a motorcade of an official. So, I kept dancing. I did not think it would become viral,” she posted alongside her previous workout videos. As the police officers noticed her presence, however, they greeted her “with a big smile” and asked if she was heading home yet.
While this anecdote was shared widely on social media, the internet has also risen to become a platform for local residents galvanizing support from the international community. On Twitter, hashtags including #AungSanSuuKyi government, #RejectTheMilitary, #SayNoToMyanmarMilitaryCoup, #WeNeedDemocracy, and #Myanmarcoup have become top trending topics in Myanmar and the region, and garnered more than 160,000 tweets, as of publication.