“Flower Speech” in Myanmar
Responding to rampant public calls to hate and even kill Muslims, a group of Myanmar activists, including former political prisoners, has started an ingenious campaign against dangerous speech. Their “Panzagar” (flower speech) campaign uses social media and public events to urge others to “watch what we say so that hate between mankind does not proliferate.” The Panzagar Facebook page obtained 9,000 likes in its first three weeks – quite an achievement in a small country where most people are not yet online. Pan Zagar’s symbol (and Internet meme) is a person holding a flower in his or her mouth, representing spreading peace through positive speech.
Illustration by Thet Paing Kha for the Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO)