Afghan puppeteer enthralls audience at puppet festival

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By: Neelapu Shanti

New Delhi, Feb. 17 (ANI): A puppet festival organised with an aim to bring theatre artistes together on a common platform, saw the participation of puppet artistes from 21 countries, including Parwana Puppet Theatre group from Afghanistan.

The 14th Ishara International Puppet Theatre Festival was held in the national capital from February 5 to 14.

Attracting thousands of visitors each year, it is the most popular festival of puppetry in India.

Abdul Haq Haqjoo, artist and director of Parwana Puppet Theatre group, enthralled the audience, especially children, through his spell-binding performance.

Haqjoo has been participating in the event for the last five years and each year his group has been receiving overwhelming response from the Indian audience.

Haqjoo, who is director of Fine Arts in Kabul University, believes that art is the best form to connect with people.

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“Through puppet and theatre shows, we convey the message of peace. We raise awareness on child rights and we do emphasize the importance of education. We do shows based on day-to- day life. We aim to teach the basic ethics of life through our shows especially for the children as they are the future generation,” said Haqjoo.

The Parwana Puppet Theatre group has also tied up with the United Nations for creating awareness on various human rights issues.

“I think people liked my work here. As India and Afghanistan share close cultural ties, I do similar programmes for Afghanistan and India as well,” Haqjoo added.

The show drew a large number of children who enjoyed the show.

“We came last year for Ishaara puppet festival. I think it is a great way to connect with the kids. It was the same group in fact the same Afghanistan group which has performed last year also so we came because of that. I think it was really great fun for the kids especially. The way they goofed around, they did the comic acts in the beginning that really gets the connection with the kids so they really enjoyed that,” said Kavita, one of the audience.

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Apart from Afghanistan, the countries that have participated include the UK, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, Sweden, Norway, Israel, Iran, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland, Australia, Switzerland and USA.

Ishara International Puppet Theatre Festival is the most popular festival of puppetry in India, which brings together artists and performers from all corners of the world to celebrate storytelling through puppetry arts. (ANI)

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