Water Puppet

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Pride of Vietnamese culture

Vietnamese water puppetry, also known as water puppetry in Vietnamese, is the pride of the people of the Red River Delta. From its first appearance in the 11th century until now, water puppetry has always been a unique variation of the ancient Asian puppet tradition.

, Water PuppetWater puppet show – Vivid scenes and sounds

Along with the eye-catching wooden and lacquer puppets, water puppetry is also attractive thanks to the meaningful stories hidden inside, as well as the secret to controlling the puppets underwater without seeing anything.


Developed by villagers in the Red River region of Vietnam since the 11th century, water puppetry reflects the daily life of the people, with idyllic stories from the kitchen to the fish ponds and rice fields. In addition to satisfying the entertainment needs of the ancients, water puppetry is also a type of ritual to satisfy wandering spirits so that they do not cause mischief.

In recent decades, water puppetry is returning to its heyday thanks to the normalization and constant efforts of cultural researchers in promoting the image of Vietnamese heritage.

Water puppetry is now widely performed at theaters in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, in a 2 square meter lake with the water as the stage. During festivals in ancient villages in the North, water puppetry is also performed on traditional ponds.

, Water PuppetThe water puppeteer had to drown the body in the water when performing – Photo: longlinkwaterpuppet.vn

The art of water puppetry is in the background of a scene where eight puppeteers stand behind a bamboo screen, decorated to resemble the facade of a temple and controlled by intricate movements with long bamboo slats. and wire. To communicate with each other, puppeteers must use dialects and code words to keep the performance running smoothly and prevent others from eavesdropping on their particular technique.

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As mentioned briefly, the content of water puppetry reflects folk tales about the daily lives of the ancients, or fairy tales passed down from generation to generation with educational or satirical meanings. bad habits.

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Through water puppet shows, rural people also express their desire for a happier and more prosperous life. In this day and age, water puppetry has become a popular form of entertainment, especially for local children and foreigners who want to discover more about Vietnamese folklore. Water puppetry is now regularly performed at puppet theaters in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and if you miss the opportunity to enjoy it, it’s a pity.

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