Burmese nuns hold effective roles as ritual specialists and educators in the Burmese religious community. As ritual specialists, the nuns officiate at religious ceremonies. They have detailed knowledge of ceremonial procedures to complement the monks’ roles in Buddhist ceremonies.
Nuns are not regarded as full female equivalents of the monks; they are not Bhikkunis. They are given the names ‘Thilashin’, or “owner of good moral conduct,” and ‘Sila-rhan’ meaning “owners of virtue.” These nuns have taken a vow to keep eight or ten precepts, shaved their heads and donned their distinctive pink and earthen-red robes on entering the nunnery. They devote themselves to religious functions around the clock with the intention of lessening the responsibilities of the mundane world.
Like the novice monks, nuns may begin their practice early and live in the monasteries sharing a similar education of learning Buddhist scripture. The young children have strong bonds and often study in small groups.