March 21 is World Puppetry Day. The day was conceived by puppet theater artist Javad Zolfaghari from Iran at the 2000 at the XVIII Congress of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette, (UNIMA) in Magdeburg. Two years later, the date of the celebration was identified and the first celebration was in 2003.
What is it that attracts us so to this form, that we ourselves give life to? Is it the inanimate becoming animate, and thus being able to say a thousand words, in a way no human actor may be able to, or have license to do so, or is it that we see ourselves as creators manipulating our subjects? Whatever be the case, puppets the world over have been expressing, playing, fighting, loving and linking our many past memories to our present. We are teaching a new generation that we must hold on to our past values and traditions while being steadfastly open to new ideas.
An excerpt from Dadi Pudumjee’s annual address for World Puppetry Day.