Ten countries to join int’l puppetry festival in Ha Noi
Update: Oct 07, 2015
The fourth International Puppetry Festival will take place in Ha Noi from October 10-16, drawing puppeteers from host Viet Nam and nine foreign countries.

Foreign troupes will come from Russia, the UK, Germany, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Belgium and the Philippines.

Nguyen Dang Chuong, Head of the Performing Arts Department, said that a new feature of this year’s event is that besides competing performances, participating troupes will perform in the northern provinces of Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Hai Duong and Vinh Phuc and Thanh Hoa Province in the central region.

The art shows will help improve local spiritual life as well as help foreign friends understand more about Vietnamese culture.

The opening ceremony will be broadcast live on October 10 on the National Assembly Television Channel.

Viet Nam is famous globally for its unique and attractive water puppetry.

Water puppetry is believed to have originated from the villages of the Red River Delta in the 11th century when the performing guilds of nine northern provinces practiced the art. Evidence of the link between water puppetry and farming can be seen in the traditional puppetry guilds, which are located around the fertile land of the Red River Delta. This area consists of numerous rivers and is often prone to flooding.

Research by the Thang Long Water Puppetry Theatre in 2005 showed that of the 27 active practicing guilds from 1955 to 1976, only 14 remain active and most were unable to make a living by performing the art. Le Tien Tho, President of the Viet Nam Stage Artists Association, said that traditional puppetry guilds are in danger of becoming extinct because many young people no longer want to perform the art.