Pakistan’s Amazing Street Puppet Shows! (Full Show w/ English)
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Pakistan’s Amazing Street Puppet Shows! (Full Show w/ English)

Experience a string puppetry show on the beautiful streets of Old Lahore. Many artists perform as families. And as you see in this video, Dua Fatima and her younger brother, both from Multan, Punjab, Pakistan, are performing together. They perform at Lahore’s Fort Food Street outside Coco’s Den.

In a bigger family setting, the father usually creates the characters’ voices and delivers the stories. The mother plays percussion (dholak), sings, and makes sound effects. The children or other family members serve as manipulation assistants and sometimes extra singers. An elder, usually the grandfather, could be a narrator.

To market their shows, the puppeteers, dressed in lively colours and sparkling turbans, usually parade from town to town and village to village, moving door to door, puppets in hand, ready to hold a performance at the spur of the moment.

In the past, they easily got bookings for performances and would leave a puppet as a souvenir. They performed puppet shows at religious festivals, fairs, harvest celebrations, and marriages. These were events of grand celebration and brought together all in the community. These days the puppet shows (called putli tamasha in Urdu) are harder to come by due to the advancement of TV, radio, and mobile internet.

Read more about string puppet shows https://wepa.unima.org/en/pakistan/.

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