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Nuns are known for their contemplative and service-centered lifestyle. Most often, they hardly leave the proximity of their communities, dutifully serving the needy around them. Also Read - International Flights: After Emirates, Now Etihad Airways Suspends Flight Services From India to UAE Till July 31
On the other hand, there are The Kung Fu Nuns—and true to their name, these peaceful ladies are trained in the ancient craft of martial arts! The Kung Fu Nuns were recently in the spotlight for their bike trip from Nepal to India. Pedaling their way through a grueling stretch from Kathmandu, they reached New Delhi in 52 days, covering about 1,370 miles for a mission—they wanted to spread awareness about environmental and gender equality issues. Also Read - Breaking News Updates: Afghanistan President Expresses Grief Over Death of Reuters Journalist Danish Siddiqui
Dressed from head to toe in biker gear—armored in black suits, helmets, riding gloves, and knee caps—this team of 250 nuns proved they are serious about the mission they have undertaken. As they traveled, the group stopped at various cities and during the day, split into groups to be able to go around starting conversations about the environment as well as gender stereotypes and inequalities. They have traveled through Gorakhpur, Gaya, Patna, Rajgir, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, and Agra.
The nuns first came into the spotlight during the Kathmandu earthquake in April 2015. While many local monks fled the city into the villages, these nuns refused to leave and stayed at the monastery helping those around them. It was not just their culinary skills that proved inevitable; they even cleared the concrete rubbles and provided shelter for the homeless.
The Kung Fu nuns belong to the 800-year-old Drukpa order. Their current Gyalwang Drukpa, the title for the head of the Drukpa lineage, was a game changer. He brought pivotal changes to the traditional monastic lifestyle. In 2008, he introduced the nuns to the world of Kung Fu, which was considered only for men. He believed that women should not just cook and serve while men do administrative work and various other physical labor tasks. His rationale became a turning point in the future of Drukpa order.
Today, the nuns are self-reliant; from cooking, cleaning, plumbing, administrative and electrical works, everything is done by the nuns. Being self-sufficient, they are proving to the world that just because they nuns, they aren’t meant to stay in monasteries and meditate—they can do anything. Their typical day begins at 3 a.m. and after prayer, practice and assigned work, they call it a day at 10 p.m. According to their teachings, which prompts them to skip one meal a day, the nuns generally skip dinner, believing that food can make one lazy and sleepy.
According to Gyalwang Drukpa, the nuns are only halfway through their journey. They have to cover another 1600 km through Shravasti and Lumbini before reaching back to Kathmandu. And, that’s not all. Next year, they plan to do a 5000 km ride!