Thursday, 17 July 2014

The 'Suu' and her namesake

We're continuing on from our earlier post this week on the A/W 2014 collection and the strong international and historical women who have named the pieces, by introducing the 'Suu' sweater, named after Aung San Suu Kyi.
Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese politician, leader of the opposition party in Burma (or Myanmar, as it is officially known). Her father, General Aung San, was a national hero. He was the main man responsible for securing Burma's independence from British rule in 1947, but was killed when his daughter was just two-years-old.

In 1988, after studying at Oxford University, Suu Kyi returned to Burma to look after her sick mother. The country was in turmoil, with thousands of people taking to the streets because they wanted a democracy, rather than the military-run government that was in power at the time. She agreed with her people and led the revolt against the then-leader, General Ne Win, with a series of peaceful protests. She and her party won the 1990 election despite her being disqualified and put under house arrest by the government. She remained under house arrest for almost 20 years, making her one of the world's most prominent political prisoners. During that time she was forbidden from seeing her two sons, or her British husband, who died from cancer in 1999.
She was finally released from house arrest in November 2010 and was able to leave the country for the first time in 24 years, knowing Burma's new leaders would allow her to return. In 1991 Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights
This year she was named by Forbes magazine as the 61st most powerful woman in the world. She has become an international symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression.

I cannot fail to be utterly in awe of a woman who has remained so composed in the face of adversity. Patience and the ability to protest so peacefully are such admirable qualities. If only I could be half as calm and patient as Aung San Suu Kyi - anyone who knows me even in passing will tell you that patience is not something I am known for....

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