When you see the title, maybe you will think that I am going to talk about something with “puppet” as a metaphor. If you think that way, I am sorry that I have to tell you that you are wrong. What I am going to write here is real puppet. Yes, a puppetry, the special kind of art what involving puppet in it. I want you to know how it can unite the world and how it make our differences – even language, are not a problem at all.
Dialog is not always necessary in puppetry. I experienced it in event of World Puppet Carnival 2013 what was held in Jakarta on September 1st until September 8th, 2013. Especially September 3rd, 2013. I decided to sacrifice my lunch time to watch the show from Argentina. The show what was brought by 3 silly Argentina guys, Damien, Danielo, and Ulises. It was really funny show, my stomach was hurt because I was too much laughing. In the evening, there was a beautiful dancing and music show from Serbia which involve a love story, no dialog just the moves of puppets and it is very nice. The Georgian brought a shadow puppet what was done only by their hands, it told a story about the journey of Bear. It was brilliant show, again no dialog, but it brought my feelings fly to the sky, sometimes laugh sometimes tears. The other one what was great was the show from Indonesia what brought by Papermoon Puppet Theatre Yogyakarta. On the contrary of Georgian show what was involved small stage and wonderful job of hands, this show was involved the entire stage of Usmar Ismail Hall. Wonderful job, the lighting, sounding, thoughtful motion of the puppeteers. They were so brilliant. My face was full of tears at the end of the show. After that there were Indian Stomach Puppet Dance Show, Kite Puppet Show what brought a story about Earth, and some other shows that unfortunately I can’t mention one by one. Yes, puppetry works in it beautiful way to speak to the audience without words.
That miracle was not only happening on the stage, but also under the stage. It had also happened when there is no show. When all the puppeteers from 60 countries hanging out. Out of the show time. Although some of them have visited many countries to do the show, doesn’t mean that all of them can speak in English. But somehow, we are still having fun together. I remember most of the puppeteers of Budrugana Gagra from Georgia can’t really speak in English. Some puppeteers from Argentina, Spain, Romania, and some other countries also can’t really speak in English. It didn’t challenge us to gathering every night to sing, chit chat and did some games. We had google translator that mostly help us in communication. Very fun..
Rod Petrovic is the Executive Director of World Puppet Carnival. He made this unique Carnival and succeeded to involve many countries. On 2013, around 60 countries were joined, then 2014 the participants were raised to be around 80 countries. According to their slogan, Support Puppet Arts! It’s Good for Humanity was true. It brought the people from many many countries, and yes there were some nominations, trophy and prizes involved, but as per my experience, I had never felt any competitive spirit between one and each other participants during the carnival. All the participants were trying to be supportive to each other, share spirits and knowledges. I remember Sue, the participant from Australia had a nice deep conversation with me about how people sometimes underestimating our dream and how we won’t let those people despair ourself on our last night gathering before everybody separated in the next day. I remember some participants were sharing their trick in doing their puppet tricks.
During World Puppet Carnival, I have learned so much about how this small thing – Puppet, has so much power to unite the people. And it made me realized that actually, we are – the human, basically like to be in peace, to be in the embrace of nice family, sharing, and supporting each other. Without taking care about race, skin color, social status, religion, politic, and other things that possibly break us apart. And the puppet arts is the small but prestigious excuse to make it come true. If we can learn from puppeteers to find more excuse to unite than to be in fight, this world will be better place where war is really not necessary. I believe.