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"Vietnamese Water Puppet Theatre" Vietnam Things to Do Tip by manil51

Vietnam Things to Do: 751 reviews and 1,162 photos


Watching a water puppet show, one gets a general picture of the daily activities typical to Vietnam's rural areas. A water puppet show is in many ways a two-hour enactment of the main aspects of Vietnamese life and history - and the building and defending of the country against the forces of man and nature.
These show are often used to depict events in the country's history. Important national happenings like the Trung Sisters' Uprising Movement against the Han invaders and the Battle over the Bach Dang River led by famed hero Tran Hung Dao are typical examples of historical scenes one might see portrayed in a water puppet show.

Scenes such as farmers both meticulously caring for their ricefields and enjoying what free time they can muster as they relax between harvests are also common themes.

To perform the show, the puppeteers themselves hide behind a long screen. From behind the screen they manipulate the wooden puppets with bamboo rods while standing chest-deep in water to enact dramatic scenes using the water's surface as a stage floor. The surface area is usually about four to five metres long and three to four metres deep.

Directions: Hanoi's main centre for water puppetry is the famed Mua Roi Nuoc theatre at the northeast corner of Hoan Kiem Lake

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  • Written Feb 19, 2005
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