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Long black hair and Buddhist blessings

25 year-old Myo Myo Aung gets ready to cut off her long hair and donate it to the “Gold Hair Bridge” project. (Photo: Libby Hogan/DVB)

In Burmese culture there is a saying – “For a woman, your beauty is your hair” – and the longer it is, the better. Well-groomed, glossy hair decorated with jasmine flowers is as quintessentially Burmese as the golden strokes of thanaka paste that grace the faces of most women in this country. While hairstyles are changing, long black hair still retains its timeless appeal.

All of which makes Buddhist abbot Sayadaw U Weiponla’s request for donations of hair all the more merit-making and generous.

The Rangoon monk began a charitable fund in 2006 that allowed women and girls to donate their flowing locks, which could in turn be made into wigs and hair extensions, and sold for money.

The fund has since become a bridge-building project – in more ways than one.

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