Most Venerable Thich Le Trang (2nd from L), Head of the VBS Executive Board in Ho Chi Minh City, attends the exhibition (Photo: VNA)
The event is co-organized by Giac Ngo – the official newspaper of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), the information-communications board of the VBS chapter in HCMC, and Hue Quang Library, which collects, preserves, and distributes Buddhist texts and books on Buddhism. It is taking place at the Giac Ngo headquarters in District 3 until June 7.
The exhibited items shed light on the Buddhist campaign in 1963 requesting the US-backed South Vietnamese government of Ngo Dinh Diem to implement a policy for religious equality. There are about 30 original documents about the event on June 11, 1963 when Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc set himself on fire to protest against the repression of Buddhists by the then government.
At the event (Photo: VNA)
Addressing the opening ceremony, Most Venerable Thich Le Trang, Head of the VBS Executive Board in HCMC, said the display gives clear insight into the hardship facing Vietnam’s Buddhism in 1963 and the Thich Quang Duc event.
Most Venerable Thich Quang Duc was born in Van Ninh district, the central province of Khanh Hoa, in 1897. He actively joined Buddhist movements for religious freedom and equality in the southern region. On June 11, 1963, when a procession of over 800 Buddhist monks, nuns, and followers arrived at the intersection of Phan Dinh Phung Boulevard (now Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street) and Le Van Duyet Street (now Cach Mang Thang Tam Street) in Saigon (now HCMC), Thich Quang Duc soaked himself in petrol, struck a match and set himself on fire. He was honored as a Bodhisattva in 1964 after the unified VBS came into being.