Perhaps the best known Malaysian theater event is the wayang kulit. Before the encroachment of television, the wayang kulit, or shadow puppet play, was the favorite after-dark entertainment. The enang, as the puppeteer was called, directed the puppets' intricate movements while singing dozens of parts in a performance which often lasted several hours. The wayang kulit draws its inspiration from the Ramayana, the Hindi epic comprised of a potpourri of immortal tales. The wayang kulit throws in a handful of Javanese and Malay characters for good measure and then pits good against evil in a classic plot. Warrior animals, giants, ghouls, princes, and priests battle it out to the finish in this rousing epic.


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