Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thích Quảng Đức

In addition to inspiring art and architecture, religious faith has been a point of conflict throughout history. In 1963, South Vietnam was primarily a Buddhist nation, but the government was controlled by a Catholic minority. In protest of persecution of Buddhists and preferential treatment of Catholics, a Buddhist monk named Thích Quảng Đức lit himself on fire in front of crowds of onlookers. He became a symbol of compassion to Vietnamese Buddhists and is considered by them to be a bodhisattva, or enlightened one. The Pulitzer-prize-winning photo of the event was recreated in LEGO by Balakov, or Mike Stimpson.

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