Human Flower Project
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Sustained by a Father’s Flowers
Aung San Suu Kyi’s signature flowers, reaching back to childhood in Burma, arrived with her in Oslo.
Aung San Suu Kyi
Twenty-one years after it was awarded to her, Aung San Suu Kyi accepted her Nobel Prize for Peace in Oslo, Norway, June 16.
Leader of the Burmese opposition movement, political prisoner, and now a member of Myanmar’s Parliament, she withstood decades of house arrest and separation from her husband and children. Though the government that jailed her permitted her to leave the country and rejoin her family (in the hopes that she would stay away), Aung San Suu Kyi refused, chosing to prolong her own detention rather than abandon the stand for human rights in Burma.
We have taken note since nearly the beginning of Human Flower Project that in public appearances, Aung San Suu Kyi always wears flowers in her hair. She did so at the Nobel Prize convocation today, clusters of white roses pinned beneath her chignon.
But until reading reading Steven Erlanger’s report in The New York Times, we never knew why. “It is a gesture she makes in honor of her father, Gen. Aung San, an independence hero of Burma, who was assassinated in 1947, when she was 2, but whom she remembers threading flowers through her hair.”