I am sure a lot of us have seen various puppet shows around the globe. Some of them might have been very well orchestrated or they might have been simple village stuff. But, have you ever seen a water puppet show. Well, if you are interested, you can visit Vietnam and see it live at either Ho Chi Minh city, its capital or at Hanoi, the headquarters of the north.
I got a chance to sample this piece of Vietnamese Heritage when I saw a show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater in Ho Chi Minh city. The show lasted 50 minutes and cost me 150,000 VND. But, the joy of this show started before the show began when I walked into the theater and saw all the puppet mannequins at the entrance. Even better was the shiny flowing dresses of the artisans. The women especially look very pretty in those outfits.
The water puppet show is orchestrated on water and the artisans are behind the curtains and manage the puppets from there. But, for us, it looks like someone is managing the puppets from under the water. And they are so well managed that I was literally scratching my head to figure out how they managed such fine precision. While the various puppet characters portrayed tales from Vietnamese culture, it was accompanied by traditional music and voice over by the artisans. The singer in particular had a clear voice and I liked most of the traditional instruments. While the typical tourist might not understand the full puppet show as he doesn’t either understand the Vietnamese language or is cognizant of its culture and folk tales, there are small bits in the show that any tourist from anywhere in the world can understand owing to its simple demonstration.
I have tried to put together a video (above) that captures key highlights from the show. Hopefully, it can give you better insights into the Vietnamese culture. Personally, I would recommend every tourist to Vietnam to spare 50 minutes of their time for this show. Both adults and kids alike will enjoy this show. Enjoy the show!