17th edition of the International Festival of Putxinel-lisThe 17th edition of the International Festival of Putxinel-lis opens on Friday 7th October with the show "Amar Singh Rathor" by the puppeteer Puran Bhatt, winner of the National Prize for the Arts 2004, a traditional performance with millenary roots coming expressly from India. Amar Singh Rathor is a folk epic that has survived the centuries, often told by the Bhat, the Kathputli puppeteers of Rajasthan. The eponymous hero is a 17th century Rajput warrior from Nagour who served under a Mughal emperor, usually identified as Akbar or Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal. The performance is divided into several episodes of the saga. Aakaar Puppet Theatre was founded in 1988 by Puran Bhat in New Delhi, where all members of the company still live and work. The company develops and promotes traditional Indian Kathputli (string puppets) in India and abroad, and works with many Indian and international artists: puppeteers, musicians, actors and dancers. It uses a wide variety of puppets, masks and other stage props to tell both traditional and folk tales as well as new stories that address social and educational issues. Kathputli is a string puppet theatre, originating from Rajasthan and is the most popular form of puppetry in India. The art of Rajasthani puppetry (also called Kathputli) originated a thousand years ago, when the Bhat community started practising the art. Sponsored by many ruling families of the state, it soon became an important art form of the region. Historically, these puppets were not only a source of entertainment, but also provided moral and social education. These puppet shows made people aware of the social problems faced by everyone and also showed ways to solve them.