Folk Theaters - Chinese Opera
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CHINESE OPERA

Chinese theaters
Chinese opera

Chinese opera or theatre is called "GNIOU" (งิ้ว) in Thai language. Everything is Chinese: the story, the clothes even the words said by the actors are in Chinese. So when Thai people go to see such Chinese shows, most of them don't understand any words but can appreciate the beautiful clothes, the strange sound voice from the actors and so on...




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Chinese theaters
Not so long ago, these theatres performances were very popular. For Thai people it was an opportunity to go out, to have some fun. But now these performances are more seldom. Younger generations prefer Thai or American movies.
Chinese opera

Luckily Chinese opera performances are not yet dying. Now most actors are Thai actors coming from "ISAN" (อีสาน - northeastern part of Thailand). "GNIOU" performances are made to make a gift to Chinese gods. So now performances are often made in front of a non living audience. They don't know any Chinese language but learn their roles by heart.




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During Thai festivals, there is sometimes a mix of "GNIOU", "LIKAY" (ลิเก) performances, stalls with food, offering to Chinese gods and to Buddhist statues. Everybody go there, come back, discuss. Don't expect silence. Anyway nobody is understanding.
Chinese theaters
Chinese opera


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