This article seeks to examine the interplay between the rise and development of the international tourism industry and the production of culture in the performance of Vietnamese water puppetry. Although tourism has indelibly altered this traditional art form, it is also responsible for the rejuvenation and continued existence of water puppetry. Rather than simply dismissing contemporary enactments as inauthentic representations, we problematize notions of cultural authenticity. Indeed, increasing global integration does not simply result in the elimination of cultural diversity but rather provides the context for the production of new cultural forms that are marked by local specificity.
water puppetry, tourism, commodification, cultural authenticity, Vietnam
How to CitePack, S., Eblin, M. and Walther, C., 2012. Water Puppetry in the Red River Delta and Beyond: Tourism and the Commodification of an Ancient Tradition. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 19(2), pp.23–31. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.24