Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 8: Water Puppets
Kathleen Brown, her husband John and their two adopted children, Peter Quang and Claire Xuan, are touring around Vietnam during their Christmas holiday. Kathleen is a long-time television producer and /media consultant for humanitarian agencies and her husband, John, a professional photographer. Every couple of days, they will post a story along with photos on their travels and adventures.
Family trip to Vietnam - Episode 8: Water Puppets - Vietnam's Original Muppets
Vietnam's water puppets appeared in the Mekong Delta centuries before Jim Henson's remarkable, furry Muppets and beyond that, they walk on water! How's that for a public educational "field" production? I'd say that's -- legendary entertainment!
The first time our family saw the water puppets in 2006, Claire was 5 and our newly adopted son, Peter, just 9 months. We were on our adoption journey to claim Peter and I recall being nervous about bringing such a young infant to a darkened theatre in the late afternoon, not wanting to ruin the show for other theatre goers. To my amazement, and relief, he was enthralled then, as now.
The water puppet tradition began as village story telling in the 11th century in the Mekong region where farmers and fishermen and women and their families told stories and entertained one another with puppets on the water. Now skilled puppeteers animate the dragons, phoenix, fairies, fishermen and villagers and other sacred creatures in fight scenes, dances, fishing expeditions and comedic sketches between husband and wife.
Traditional musicians and singers help tell the stories through drumming, wind, percussion and vocal accompaniment. It's a stunning cultural presentation which, even today, entertains and delights and transmits the values of hard work, loyalty and family ties, and both celebrates good fortune and the reversals of fortune life brings us all.
The Lotus Theatre Water Puppets are a cultural experience, found both in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, not to be missed on your visit to Vietnam. The show runs in at under an hour, but its lessons may last a lifetime.
Let's have a sneak peak at the show!
Family Trip by Kathleen:
Family trip in Vietnam - 1st episode: Enter the Dragon
Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 2: Cai Rang Water Opera
Family trip in Vietnam - episode 3: Hoi An ancient town
Family trip in Vietnam - episode 4: Hoi An Countryside
Family trip in Vietnam - episode 5: the LifeStart Foundation
Family trip in Vietnam - episode 6: Hoi An Cooking Class
Family trip in Vietnam - episode 7: Project Runway in Hoi An
Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 8: Water Puppets - Vietnam's Original Muppets
Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 9: Time to Cha Cha with the Chả Cá
Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 10: A Visit to the Hung Kings Citadel and Au Co Ancestral Site
Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 11: Our Visit to the Perfume Pagoda
Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 12: Can Gio Reserve
Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 13: Saigon Street Eats
Family trip in Vietnam - Final Episode: An Afternoon in Cholon
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