Who are the Kung Fu Nuns who received Asia Society’s Game Changer Award?

The Kung Fu Nuns of the Drukpa Order, some of the Himalayas’ most prominent human rights advocates, received Asia Society’s prestigious Game Changer Award in New York for their path-breaking work to empower women and dismantle gender stereotypes in Himalayas. They received the award for their heroic activism and being a true symbol of women empowerment.

With this recognition, the Kung Fu Nuns join the likes of iconic Indian leaders Indra Nooyi, Dev Patel and Mukesh Ambani who have also been honored by Asia Society in previous years for breaking the glass ceiling with their courage and inspiring their fellow citizens.

About Asia Society Game Changer Awards

The Asia Society founded in 1956, is a nonpartisan, non-profit educational institution. It is dedicated to promote mutual understanding as well as strengthen partnerships in a global context among people, leaders and institutions of Asia and United States.

Each year, the Asia Society honor individuals, organizations, or even movements that have inspired, enlightened, and shown true leadership in areas that reflect core pillars of Asia Society’s arts and culture, policy and business, as well as education.

This year’s Game Changer Awards given by Asia Society along with its founding partner, Citi group was to honor women who are applying their unique vision and talent to make the world a better place.

Who are The Kung-Fu Nuns?

The Kung Fu Nuns are the fearless Indian daughters who represent a new generation of Buddhists using spirituality to inspire real-life action & impact. They are a strong community of 700 nuns who belong to the Drukpa Lineage, a 1000-year-old Buddhist tradition that began in Himalayas.

The nuns were encouraged by the spiritual leader and founder of the Drukpa order Gyalwang Drukpa, to train in Kung Fu to build confidence as leaders. He flouted centuries of Buddhist tradition that barred nuns from physical exercise.

They are the only Buddhist nuns in world to practice the Kung Fu, a martial art form. The nuns use their martial arts expertise to challenge gender roles in India’s conservative culture and promote gender equality and environmentalism.



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  • Dr.Cajetan Coelho

    Hearty congratulations. Kung Fu Nuns are doing fine. We need more and more Kung Fu Nuns in our Society. May their tribe increase.