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Learning Chinese
Old Man Teaches Children Shadow Play

Lang Zili, 70, teaches children how to maneuver shadow puppets after giving a performance in Wuzhen, a canal town in southern Zhejiang Province.

Shadow play originated during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and became popular in south China towards the end of the dynasty. Lang is a fourth-generation member of the Lang Gamily Troupe, which first performed in the early 20th century and has become one of the two most-reputed shadow play troupes in Haining area of Zhejiang Province.

Lang, who started his shadow play career at age 17, now heads the family troupe based in Xieqiao. As he turns 70, he is passing on his expertise to his young disciples in the hope that shadow play will remain a part of Chinese culture.

(eastday.com 11/28/2000)

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