Vietnamese Water Puppet

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

The Vietnamese water puppet is a block of wood molded into the form of a human. The water puppet is used in shows. The shows are like a movie. You're sitting in your seat, then music starts playing and the show begins, but there's no screen or stage: there's water! There are actual humans in the water with the puppets. The puppets are used to make a story; the people control the puppets. Sometimes, they fish, sometimes they carry something, other times they eat. In one show there's about one hundred puppets used. These shows are very popular, and very important to the Vietnamese people.

I was born in Vietnam. I was adopted and brought to America. My parents had to wait five years after adopting my brother to adopt me! While my parents were in Vietnam, picking up my brother, they met some people, became friends and now we visit them. Our friends invited my parents to a water puppet show. They saw it and were amazed. When our family went back to Vietnam in first grade, I saw my first water puppet show, and I was just as amazed as my parents were five years ago. Since I’m Vietnamese, the water puppet is very important to me. 

This object connects to my family and me because half of the family is Vietnamese, and my parents respect Vietnamese history. The water puppet represents me because they are strong and never give up, no matter what happens. The story they tell is the story about bravery, and I try to be as brave as I can, just like the water puppets.

Place(s): Vietnam
Year: 2010


Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant