Bawi Hnem Sung, Texas, United States of America
17 year old high school student Bawi Hnem Sung is also from the Chin community in Lewisville, Texas, and is part of the Lewisville High School Chin Club. Her family fled Myanmar when she was three.
This is her story:
“I got to visit Myanmar back in the winter of 2019, and it absolutely breaks my heart that the streets I strolled are now where shots are fired day and night, the people I met are either in hiding, or fighting for their lives, and the future of going back to embrace my family members once again is now blurred.
I am heartbroken, and I am angered that the citizens of Myanmar have to face the oppression of the military once again.
To be quite honest, this coup truly opened my eyes to see how oppressed the people of Myanmar are. This is the first Myanmar military oppression that I have witnessed, and although I heard many stories from families and friends, I never truly understood the anger and brokenness that the Myanmar government, as a whole, holds.
When I say I have the uttermost respect for the protesters in Myanmar, it is an understatement. I have seen videos, and read news, about how parents are sending off their children every morning, with the thought that their children may not walk through the doors of their home ever again, teenagers my age dropping out of school so they can protest for their future and freedom, and just seeing the society in Myanmar work together, really just moves me so much and leaves me in awe of the resilience and strength the people have.
Being in a different country has definitely created barriers between us and the people in Myanmar, but I have done everything in my power to try and help. With the help of teachers, and my fellow activist friends, we’ve managed to raise donations for the people in our birth country, we’ve shown our support for the people by participating in protests, and we’ve tried our best to let the world hear the people of Myanmar’s voices.
We’ve also organised a call to action day to our senators and representatives, and shared what’s happening in Myanmar on our social media. In our annual Chin festival show, we made a segment dedicated to the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in the hope that it would bring more awareness to the community around us. The Lewisville High School Chin Club also managed to raise over 1,000 dollars.
The Military has put on a fake front to the world by shutting down internet lines, kidnapping famous celebrities who loathe the Military, and silencing the voices of the people in Myanmar, so it's clear they don't want their evil acts to be shown and blasted on the internet, so the international community can help by posting what’s going on.
People of Burmese origin have been protesting in many countries all over the world, including South Korea, Australia, Canada and so much more. It means the world to us when we see many of our different ethnic brothers and sisters come and join our protest against the military coup.
I understand now how much international recognition and help the people in Myanmar need - they need their voices to be heard. They have waited for over 70 years for the world to listen, and I want to make sure that the years are not prolonged.”
Captions: Bawi Hnem Sung; Bawi Sung protesting in Dallas, Texas. (Copyright: Bawi Hnem Sung)