An aerobics instructor in Myanmar does her workout routine as a coup unfolds behind her

Share via

Khing Hnin Wai has made a habit of shooting videos of herself doing aerobics in Myanmar’s capital set to bouncy techno music that wouldn’t sound out of place in a cheerleading competition.

In the handful of videos she’s posted to her Facebook page, she never captured anything of note behind her in Naypyidaw apart from the absurd emptiness of the 20-lane Yaza Htarni Road that leads to the country’s parliament building. That was, until Monday.

In a post that’s since gone viral, Khing Hnin Wai is seen diving into one of her exercise routines as a convoy of black military vehicles speeds past her toward the seat of power for the country, also known as Burma. The teacher doesn’t seem to notice the commotion, and it’s unclear if the sirens heard belong to her dance music or the convoy.


Khing Hnin Wai appeared to be working out at the very moment Myanmar’s military was seizing power in a coup. The swift and bloodless takeover, which ends a decade of fragile democratic reform, was launched in the early morning and resulted in the detention of elected civilian leaders, including the head of the ruling National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi.

On Facebook Tuesday, Khing Hnin Wai posted older clips of her routines from the same place, showing it was no coincidence she had exercised there.

“It’s normal when I wake up in the morning,” she wrote.