Cultural puppetry exchange fosters international friendship hinh anh 1A water puppet show at the 2015 Con Son Kiep Bac Fall Festival. (Source: VNA)

International and host puppeteers joined an art performance on October 15 at the Lam Son Theatre in the northern central provincey of Thanh Hoa as part of the ongoing fourth International Puppetry Festival.

The artists come from Vietnam’s Thang Long Puppetry Theatre, Germany’s Annafabuli Puppet Theatre and Russia’s Moscow State Puppet Theatre.

The fourth International Puppetry Festival, running in Hanoi from October 10 to 16, has drawn puppeteers from its host country and nine others.

Foreign troupes will come from Russia, the UK, Germany, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Belgium and the Philippines. They are scheduled to perform in the northern provinces of Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Hai Duong and Vinh Phuc, as well as Thanh Hoa province in the central region.

Vietnam is famous around the world for its unique, attractive water puppetry.

Water puppetry is believed to have come from villages in the Red River Delta in the 11th century, when performing guilds from 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 from the art. Le Tien Tho, president of the Vietnam Stage Artists Association, said that traditional puppetry guilds are in danger of becoming extinct because many young people no longer want to participate.-VNA