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When Books Translate into Reality

'The Hunger Games' 3-finger salute used as a symbol of protest

By Mehr Sohal

In plain and simple words, Myanmar is facing a threat to its democracy. In light of the military coup, the people of Myanmar are deeply unsettled; and rightfully so. Hence, communicating their resistance and solidarity for democracy through wide-scale protests. A gesture that several protesters seem to be holding up is the three-finger salute.

Does the above image trigger a memory of when you were racing through the dystopia 'Hunger Games' series by Suzanne Collins, or binge-watching the trilogy movie adaption? I know it sure did for me as this subtle three-finger salute is an explicit representation of resistance in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem. From the films at least, the most significant use of the salute was when Katniss Everdeen held up her hand in respect for Rue, which led to the entire District 11 mimicking her action. A true symbol of solidarity.

snapshot from the 'Hunger Games' movie.

The salute first crossed the boundary from the realm of words to reality in the 2014 protests in Thailand, following a military coup. Since then, it has been used frequently around the world as both an allusion to popular culture and a sign of unity and protest.

Yes, I agree that it's scary to think a gesture used in a terrifying dystopia society is being used in our reality – our world. But it is also fascinating to come face to face with the power of books, and the impact it can have on not just a mere number of people, but several countries.

I am sure that Suzanne Collins must be beyond elated to know that her imaginary literary world has transcended into an important fight for democracy .

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