Human Flower Project
A Gentle Correction
About 10 days ago, we cited a New York Times article explaining why Burma’s human rights leader wears flowers in her hair. She kindly corrected us both, us all.
Aung San Suu Kyi pinned a supporter’s flowers in her hair on the day she was released from house arrest.
While visiting France in late June, Burmese human rights leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who recently had accepted her Nobel Peace Prize, remarked on the customary flowers in her hair. The New York Times had reported that she wore them in memory of her late father, who would put flowers in her hair. HFP seized on this information and passed it along.
But Aung San Suu Kyi corrected that notion recently while visiting France.
“You see, I was only two when my father died,” she said. “And at that time, I had no hair! In Burma we believed if you shaved children’s hair, it grows back thick and long. And my hair was always shaved, so it’s only a myth that he placed flowers there… but I’m very touched people think he did.
“The reason why I wear flowers in my hair is actually because my mother used to do so. This was very much a Burmese tradition. But these days Burmese girls have started cutting their hair short so they no longer wear flowers. And on top of it, they don’t know how or have great difficulty doing it. Even my personal assistant—who has short hair—doesn’t know how to help me.”