My Water Puppets

My Water Puppets

As we learn more about the world and immerse ourselves in different cultures, we want to capture the essence of a strange place. We have photographs and souvenirs to remind us of that unique travel experience. Being rather nostalgic, I always try to look for something special or some authentic souvenirs during my trips.

The Museum of Ethnology gift shop had many beautiful products of culture and I bought two cute handcrafted puppets, the Cheerful Guy with fans and the big Holy Dancer while the small Musicians, Fishing Man and Woman with a basket I got the from one of the interesting shops in the Old Quarter.

Water puppetry is unique only to Vietnam. Its origin can be traced back to the 11th century in a rather atypical sequence – a series of flooding effectuated a form of entertainment, the puppets that dance on water! These puppet shows depicting Vietnamese culture and legends were performed at the communal ponds to celebrate the festivals. This type of entertainment captured audiences for centuries and up to now, it has a nightly performance with live music by “cheo” singers.

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