[Buddha-l] Western reporter's memoir about General Vo Nguyen Giap--article & photos

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 19 22:56:17 MDT 2013

> Some photos in links on this VietnamNet Bridge issue show a long line of
> Buddhists heading to pay their last regards. Seen among photos at this 
> link:
> http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/society/86784/thousands-of-people-pray-at-g
> eneral-vo-nguyen-giap-s-grave.html
> Joanna

One has to keep in mind that the ex-pat Vietnamese clergy in the US and 
Europe and elsewhere have been deeply suspicious of the clergy in Vietnam, 
accusing them of all sorts of complicities with the govt. and in being less 
than true Buddhists. Complicity issues are also leveled against Buddhist 
officialdoms in other Asian countries, such as China, Burma, Thailand, etc., 
so one much weave through such issues carefully. But one should be aware 
that the official clergy in Vietnam is govt. sanctioned, so that Buddhist 
officialdom tends to conform to the govt.

Though some efforts at reconciliation between the thriving Vietnamese 
Buddhist communities outside Vietnam and the Buddhist officialdom in Vietnam 
have been made, there is still much distrust, as far as I know. Hence these 
ceremonies have to be looked at as required public performance with whatever 
sincerety lies behind it as socially contrived.

(and please don't pretend it is 'just like here' -- it's not. Time to smell 
the difference.)


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