World Record Nomination: Vietnam's water puppetry - The only puppetry performed in water

20-04-2015

(Worldkings) - While theatres for most of puppet show in the world built on the land, there is a type of puppet show whose theatres built on water surface (a waist-deep pool). It is water puppetry (Mu´a rô´i nuo´c).

Water puppetry is a Vietnam's old traditional performing art which originated in the villages of the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam from 11th century. Originally, water puppetry was performed in the time of village festivals after harvesting days or in Tet (the New Year holidays of Vietnamese).
Dance of the water fairies (en.wikipedia.org)
The most unique feature of water puppetry is the theatre must be a medium or a large pool, with a pagoda (or a traditional Vietnamese building) built on top to hide the puppeteers who stand in the waist-deep water. The water not only acts as the stage for the puppets but also as a symbolic link to the rice harvest. It also hides the puppet strings and puppeteer movements, improves the musical and vocal acoustics, and provides a shimmering lighting effect.
A traditional Vietnamese orchestra provides background music accompaniment. The instrumentation includes vocals, drums, wooden bells, cymbals, horns, monochord ("da`n bâ`u"), gongs, and bamboo flutes. Singers of chèo (a form of opera originating in North Vietnam) sing songs which tell the story being acted out by the puppets.
While puppeteers, musicians and singers are performing, spotlights and colorful flags adorn the stage and create a festive atmosphere.
A water puppet theater show presenting in Hanoi, Vietnam. The players were presenting themselves at the end of the show (en.wikipedia.org)
Water puppetry shows tell us the story about the rural life in ancient Vietnam, legends, heroes and their victories against invaders... Those stories teach young Vietnamese people about patriotic spirits, solidarity in community, family and love.
Today water puppetry is performed for tourists, either domestic or foreign. Every show attracts hundreds, even thousands people to watch those lovely and funny lacquered puppets. It's no exaggeration to say that water puppetry has become a symbol of Vietnam culture.
World Records Union - Worldkings are still collecting more information from many sources and it is our pleasure listening to everybody's comments to have a full evaluation on the record nomination: "Vietnam's water puppetry - The only puppetry performed in water in the world."
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