myanmar aerobics routine

Aditya Raj Kaul/Twitter

Viral video appears to show woman doing aerobics routine in midst of Myanmar military coup


Phil West


An incredible viral video circulating on Monday appeared to capture a woman doing an aerobics video while a coup in Myanmar unfolded behind her. While some went on social media to question the validity of the videos, others were building a case for the video taken in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar’s capital.

The video was originally posted on Facebook by Khing Hnin Wai, whose Facebook bio identifies her as a physical education teacher with the Ministry of Education.

A vehicle convoy appears behind her about halfway through her original video. She powers through her routine, even though it appears now that the convoy was related in some way to the military takeover of the Southeast Asian nation.

The video was then shared on Twitter by several different users, including CNN News 18 contributing editor Aditya Raj Kaul, who commented, “A woman did her regular aerobics class out in open without realizing that a coup was taking place in #Myanmar. A Military convoy reaching the parliament can be seen behind the woman as she performs aerobics. Incredible!”

He initially questioned the veracity of the video, noting, “Some claim[ed] it was shot with a Croma background.”

He appeared to be more convinced it was the real deal, however, challenging someone questioning the video based on how her shadow appears by saying, “That’s a conspiracy theory! Sorry it didn’t work this time. This did happen in real.”

Another thread on Twitter from Vincent Bevins, a former Southeast Asia correspondent with the Washington Post, revealed more info. Bevins reached out to Angel Marrades, the University of Salamanca political scientist who originally tweeted out the video. According to Marrades, Khing’s done a number of videos from the location where the viral video was shot.

Another person checking in on the story tracked the location: the Royal Lotus Roundabout in the capital city.

Bellingcat’s Aric Toler did just that, tweeting, “Yeah it’s the same. The metal barrier things were probably added in the last couple of years.”

While determining the video’s authenticity was on some people’s minds, others took it as face value and marveled this was happening in the middle of a coup in a region familiar with regime changes.

As the BBC reported, the military coup included the detainment of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who was elected to lead Myanmar in 2015, and other elected leaders from the National League for Democracy.

President Joe Biden, facing the first foreign policy crisis of his new administration, reportedly raised the threat of new sanctions in response.

Seamas O’Reilly attempted to sum it up by saying, “2021 is the most 2021 that ever 2021’d.”

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