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Sayalay Ketumala

  • Buddhism
  • Myanmar
  • Female
  • Myanmar
  • South East Asia
  • KAICIID Fellows

Biography Narrative

Buddhist Nun, Author, Public speaker, and religious leader

Sayalay Ketumala was born in Mudon Township, Mon State, Myanmar. She has completed government high school in Mudon and received a monastic education at Pa-auk Monastery in Mon State, Myanmar. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Buddhist and Pali University in Sri Lanka and a Master of Arts degree from Kelaniya University, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

She is the founder of Uppalavan Institute in Yangon, Myanmar, and an author of several articles in newspapers, journals, magazines and the book “Ketumala Nidan,” which emphasises social justice, gender equality, peace and justice, Buddhism and social welfare. In 2017, she was awarded the best articles of the year by Shwe Amyutae Magazine, Myanmar.

She is also a program director and trainer of women empowerment programs for Buddhist nuns in Myanmar and the European Buddhist Youth Forum. In addition, she has participated in many conferences, public talks, lectures and training on Buddhist ethics, peace building, dialogue, conflict resolution and conflict transformation.

Interreligious Activities and Initiatives

Starting A Dialogue Among Buddhist Nuns

The initiative focuses on delivering dialogue education and creating dialogue space and practices for Buddhist Nuns who are from universities and Buddhist institutions. There will be intra-Buddhist dialogue , inter-generational dialogue, inter-ethnics dialogue and the component of inter-religious dialogue and inter-religious exposures tour. Buddhist nuns in Myanmar society are systematically marginalized, structurally and culturally oppressed. They live in isolation, fear and insecurity. My Institution is to uplift the lives of Buddhist nuns with education, empowerment and engagement. This initiative will be start off program on intra and inter religious dialogue to educate and empower nuns. The target participants will be from Yangon region and rural areas who are mid-level female religious leaders, community leaders and teachers.