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Myanmar protesters are using the three-finger salute: Here’s what it means and where it came from

The three-finger salute used in Myanmar was adopted from ‘The Hunger Games’ books and movies.

Myanmar protesters are using the three-finger salute: Here’s what it means and where it came from
[Photo: Sai Aung Main/AFP via Getty Images]
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Last week the Myanmar military staged a coup in the country. This coup turned out better for the insurrectionists than the one in America did. But the Myanmar coup is not being allowed to happen quietly. Though Myanmar’s military has an inordinate amount of power, protests over the coup have been ongoing in the country and around the world.

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And now those protestors have begun using a particular salute to show their solidarity with one another. That salute is the three middle fingers of the hand raised straight, with the thumb crossing over to rest on top of the pinky finger. You can check out the salute in the image in the tweet below.

Or, here’s an even better picture of the three-finger salute that’s now become a symbol of resistance against the Myanmar military’s coup.

What you’ll notice about the tweet above is that it was posted back in 2015 and comes from the official The Hunger Games account. But that’s no coincidence. The three-finger salute used in Myanmar was adopted from The Hunger Games books and movies. In those fictional worlds, the salute is a way for the oppressed people to show their solidarity against a tyrannical dystopian government.

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And its use in Myanmar is not the first time The Hunger Games salute has been used in the real world. Last year the salute was used by those opposing China’s incursion into Hong Kong and those protesting against the monarchy in Thailand. As a matter of fact, the first real-world use of The Hunger Games salute dates back to the days just after the military coup in Thailand in May 2014, reports The Guardian.

Since then, the salute has officially been banned in the country, but that’s not stopped those in Thailand from using it, nor those in other countries like, now, Myanmar. And as you can see from a simple search on social media, the three-finger salute is now everywhere.

About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com

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