It is quite natural for people to be so engrossed in their workouts that they forget what is happening around them. And maybe that is what happened to this aerobics instructor in Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s official capital.
The young woman was seen doing her elaborate workout routine outside the parliament building in Myanmar’s capital, while the military coup unfurled in the background of her video. Oblivious to the events happening behind her, she didn’t miss a beat, and now the dramatic video has taken social media by storm.
The woman dressed in a black and neon green athleisure outfit kept on dancing to a popular Indonesian song, “Ampun Bang Jago”, as black SUVs can be seen driving up to a security checkpoint on the road leading to the Assembly of the Union complex behind her. Unaware, her camera filmed the moment the military swept in to seize power by detaining state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior ruling party figures before the new parliament convened its first meeting.
In the video, as she continued her routine, sirens can be heard in the background as vehicles appear, including two mounted with weapons.
Watch the video here:
Una mujer hizo su clase de aerobic sin darse cuenta de que estaban dando el golpe de Estado en Myanmar. Y pues puede verse como el convoy de militares llega al parlamento. pic.twitter.com/fmFUzhawRe
Àngel Marrades (@VonKoutli) February 1, 2021
As the video went viral — across social media sites — the woman was identified as Khing Hnin Wai, a 26-year-old physical education teacher, who claimed not to know that a coup was taking place when she was doing gymnastics.
Through her Facebook account, where she had posted the video originally, Hnin Wai uploaded a number of videos saying she has been exercising in the same location for the past couple of months.
Hnin Wai, while sharing the old videos, wrote, Its normal when I wake up in the morning, adding others to ignore her first video caption. The woman, who works for the Ministry of Education and lives in a logging town just Naypyidaw, said she had another important thing on her mind, a fitness dance competition to win when she was filming the video.
She later added that as she danced, she eventually noticed helicopters and additional convoys mounted with heavy weapons passing her. Some of the officers gave her a smile as they rolled by, according to her Facebook post.
The background scene and the music kind of match, she wrote on Facebook, which has not yet been removed but barred from being embedded. I was filming the clip for a competition before the mornings news came out. What a memory!
Beyond Myanmar the video has been watched by millions from around the world, who not only drew parallels to a dystopian world and an episode to Black Mirror, others on Reddit have started a photoshop challenge, morphing her against the backdrop of other historical events.
Something so powerful about this. https://t.co/ioCxFN2oz7
Caralisa Monteiro (@runcaralisarun) February 2, 2021
This woman gave her live aerobics class in Myanmar without knowing about the coup happening directly behind her as military seized control of the parliament building.
Surreal… https://t.co/EbBvzDxSW9
Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) February 2, 2021
The song makes it 100x funnier
(“Ampun Bang Jago” is a sarcastic Indonesian slang phrase which is often used to mock arrogant police/military officers) https://t.co/DE22OH4ILb
joe (@jawadywn) February 1, 2021
gives a whole new meaning to “doesn’t matter if you get the steps right, the important thing is to just keep moving!” https://t.co/jqjrMRsDXW
Alyssa Limperis (@alyssalimp) February 1, 2021
2020 was a rough year for many, but by 2021 we learned to mask up, ignore the ongoing coup attempts, and get on with our lives. https://t.co/srSqVUBUn7
Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) February 1, 2021
there is something poetically heartbreaking going on here https://t.co/u5QuhfT7io
Kevin.Lurz (@kevin_lurz) February 1, 2021
MOMENTO BLACK MIRROR. https://t.co/PVRNNjwgbS
Valentín Garijo (@valentingarijo) February 1, 2021
pic.twitter.com/mAaXI8F81G
Rsh (@he_eyy) February 2, 2021
finally got a replacement pic.twitter.com/Gvm7nwMW3n
MRLI (@murlireticent) February 2, 2021