Archive for May, 2012
Yesterday we announced the winners of the photo contest, and now we’d like to show you the winning photos. So, let’s hear it for the winners, and enjoy these wonderful photos!
1st Place – Sarah Yeung – We Love Paris
1. Zip-Lock It Up submitted by Patty B.
Patty suggests packing like-minded items within large, labeled zip-lock bags. All socks in one bag, all shorts in another, etc. Says Patty: “Since we never totally unpack, I just pull out the bag I need. It’s much neater and faster.”
We agree, Patty. This is a great tip for tours that travel to multiple cities.
The art of water puppetry is one of Vietnam’s oldest forms of entertainment and has kept its people captivated for over 1,000 years. Visit Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, and you, too, can be awed by these magnificent puppetry performances. The shows are exactly as they’re named: puppet shows over water. And, so much more… Spectacles are enriched by chéo (or traditional opera), music, lights, firecrackers and even fire, especially when a mythical dragon makes an appearance. Keep an eye out for Teu, a carefree farmer, who appears in every show to guide you through tales of daily life and keep Vietnamese folklore alive. And with a name that means “laughter” in ancient Vietnamese, he’s bound to bring on a belly full of laughs.
Water puppetry originated in the rice paddies of northern Vietnam gaining the nickname, “Soul of the Rice Fields,” at a time when farmers thought that spirits controlled their crops. After the end of the harvest, farmers would use bamboo figures to entertain the spirits (and prevent them from making mischief) on ponds and paddy fields. Today, you’ll find modern puppeteers hiding behind an imitation pagoda and standing waist-deep in water-filled containers created to resemble a traditional Vietnamese village. And it’s from here where puppeteers master elaborately decorated wooden puppets—some as heavy as 33 pounds—using bamboo rods hidden beneath the water.
If you want to recreate some marionette magic during bath time back home, you’re unlikely to source any secrets from these Vietnamese puppet masters. That’s because in a world where “water is thicker than blood,” puppeteers are prepared to break family ties in order to keep their techniques under wraps. Not just under water!
All of the submissions are in for our Spring 2012 Photo Contest and now it’s time to vote for your favourites! You can vote once a day for each entry until May 16th – so head on over to our Facebook contest and vote now. Here are the top 3 contenders as of this Friday: