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WTIC members visit Puppet Theatre Museum

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Members of Welcome to Taipei International Club (WTIC) participated in a visit to the Lin Liu-hsin Puppet Theatre Museum (林柳新紀念偶戲博物館) and were impressed by the magnificent collections of puppets and other related artifacts at the museum, as well as by a special puppet performance.

Housed in a building that is over 80 years old, the Lin Liu-hsin Puppet Theatre collection hosts more than 10,000 puppet theater items from all over the world, including glove puppets, string puppets, shadow puppets, and even water puppets, which originally came from China, but now are only used in performances in Vietnam.

Vivienne Shen, secretary-general of WTIC, said that the members of the club, especially the foreign ones, particularly enjoy their interactions with Taiwanese culture. The Lin Liu-hsin Puppet Theatre Museum is tucked away in the center of Dadaocheng, an district in old Taipei near the Tamsui River. This area is an attraction for those who appreciate Taiwanese culture and history.

Julia Phane, wife of the representative of the South Africa Liaison Office, genuinely enjoyed her visit. She said that the museum provides education and presents research, information, and entertainment, all while providing a historic perspective on traditional folk arts. Hedvig Sztano Szenelyne, wife of the representative of the Hungarian Trade Office, pointed out that this puppet museum is suitable for visitors of all ages, as children can enjoy the performances and adults can develop a better appreciation of the rich history of Taiwanese folk arts.

Eva Koudelkova, wife of the Czech Republic representative, expressed her admiration for WTIC, which arranges cultural visits for members and relatives of the diplomatic corps.

Kim Ja Youn, wife of the Swedish representative, expressed her appreciation for the puppet show stage, which was intricately carved and decorated with golden paint.

Seo Kazuko and Sayomi Kojima, both from AIT, thought the puppet show was very amusing, and bore some resemblances to ancient Japanese Kabuki opera, which is like Chinese Kun Opera, created in the Ming Dynasty by the great musician Wei Liang-pu and the basis for every Chinese opera, including Peking opera.

The astonishing and refined movements of the puppets were orchestrated by puppeteer Lai Shih-an (賴世安), who was the student of the puppet master Lee Tien-lu (李天祿).

Dr. Robin Ruizendaal, the director of the museum, came from Holland and is a scholar of Chinese language and traditional arts.

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