For centuries, Buddhist nuns have been banned from most things monks were allowed and expected to do, which included studying the ancient martial art of Kung fu. But a revolutionary nunnery in Nepal is fighting that outdated sexism and tradition, quite literally, and paving the way for future Buddhist nuns who wish to live a spiritual life.

Inferior to monks? Only permitted to work in the kitchens and gardens of Buddhist monasteries? The nuns at Druk Gawa Khilwa Nunnery an hour outside Kathmandu, Nepal are so over the uber-patriarchal Buddhist monastic system, that they're doing everything monks do, and then some. What happened was 26 years ago, some righteous members of the 800-year-old Drupka order rebelled against what they saw was an unfair system, and formed what is now called the Druk Gawa Khilwa Nunnery at Druk Amitabh Mountain. The nunnery houses over 300 nuns, all of whom get up at 3 in the morning and don't get to sleep until 11 at night. The youngest nun is 9 and the oldest one is 60, coming from neighboring Tibet, Ladakh, Lahaul, Bhutan and Sikkim.

While running the nunnery and doing all things monks do, such as leading prayers, the nuns here started practicing the ancient art of Kung fu in 2008, something that was/is majorly off limits to those other than "real" monks in all other Buddhist monasteries. For two hours every day,  the spiritual ladies go through intense training to improve focus and improve their overall health and well-being. And not only that, the nuns play tennis, skate, and even learn foreign languages, which are all things they would never even have access to, if they were to choose a life of being a wife in whatever village they were from. Because of how progressive this nunnery is, more and more girls are aspiring to become nuns at Druk Gawa Khilwa Nunnery, the most progressive Buddhist nunnery in the world. 

The nuns at Druk Gawa Khilwa Nunnery are changing the world, one roundhouse kick at a time.



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