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Nepal's most famous pop star is Buddhist nun (VIDEO)

Nepal's most famous pop star is Buddhist nun (VIDEO)There is one Buddhist nun everyone in Nepal knows by name — not because she's a religious icon and a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, nor for her work running a girl's school and a hospital for kidney patients.

Ani Choying Drolma is famous as one of the country's biggest pop stars.

With more than 12 albums of melodious Nepali tunes and Tibetan hymns that highlight themes of peace and harmony, the songstress in saffron robes has won hearts across the Himalayan nation and abroad.

"I am totally against the conservative, conventional idea of a Buddhist nun," the 45-year-old nun said. Some people "think a Buddhist nun should be someone who does not come out in the media so much, who is isolated ... always in a monastery, always shy. But I don't believe in that."

Popular composer Nhyoo Bajracharya, who has worked with Drolma, describes her music as a fusion of traditional Tibetan and Nepali styles. "They are religious songs, slow rock with flavours of blues and jazz combined," he said.

Her singing offers listeners a way to practice meditation and "is about invoking a spiritual quality," she said in a recent interview with the Associated Press. "That is what I rejoice in."



She refused to say how much money she has earned from album sales and concerts but said she donates much of it to education charities through her Nun's Welfare Foundation and runs a kidney hospital.
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