Thich Quang Duc

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Thich Quang Duc
Missing image

Thich Quang Duc pictured during his self-immolation. As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound.
Vietnamese name
Quốc NgữThch Quảng ức
Chữ Nm釋廣德

Thich Quang Duc, born in 1897, was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who burnt himself to death at a busy Saigon intersection on June 11, 1963. His act of self-immolation, which was repeated by others, was witnessed by David Halberstam, a New York Times reporter, who wrote:

I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think.... As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.

Thich Quang Duc was protesting against the way the administration of the Catholic Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem was oppressing the Buddhist religion.

His monastery was just outside of Hue in central Vietnam. The light blue Austin in which he drove to Saigon to commit his act can still be seen there (along with a picture showing his self-immolation, with his car in the background). This same picture was used in 1992 as the cover for an album by the politically charged American band Rage Against the Machine.

Following his death, attempts by the Buddhist community to cremate his heart only resulted in it remaining intact. It was henceforth considered holy and placed in the care of the Reserve Bank of Vietnam.

Madame Nhu, the first lady of Vietnam at the time, commented with regard to this that she would "clap hands at seeing another monk barbecue show." This supposedly resulted in her receiving the alias of "Dragon Lady."


is:Thch Quảng ức zh:釋廣德


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