Santa Claus is Back in Town

This year Christmas presents come a bit early for children at the Sparrow home, thanks to Juha Laukkanen, a famous Finnish puppeteer who has been to Thailand for the fifth time performing puppetry for orphanages children all around Asia.
    Juha from Puppet Theatre Sytkyt in Helsinki has been invited by the Embassy of Finland in Bangkok to perform a delightful puppetry for children at the orphanage centers and Foster homes in Bangkok and surrounding provinces from October to November 2007.
    On 24 October Christmas has arrived at Sparrow home, a home for children whose mothers are in Custody. There were about eight kids at Sparrow home and they’re all anticipating to see the show. When Juha arrived with his Thai Assistance Nop, children rushed to the gate to welcome their guests with the smile.
    Now it’s time for children to learn more about Christmas or to simply enjoy the show! Juha started to entertain the kids with a story of Nutcracker. One small boy happily smiled when Juha brought out a soldier puppet.
    “Would you help me decorate this Christmas tree with these toys” Juha said to the children which later translated in Thai by Nop.
The children was excited to be part of the show and they went up to hang the toy on the christmas tree.
    According to Juha here in Asia he usually performs with a story from Finland but when he entertains the audience back in Finland he will use the story from Asia such as Ramayana.
    “The children might not understand the whole story but it is wonderful to see the sparkle of excitement and happiness in their eyes, that is what keeping me going for years.” says Juha who’s been named a Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF in Finland.
    Toward the end of the story the children waved goodbye to prince and princess puppets as the story ended happily ever after. Later the big sister in the house Na, presented gift to Juha on behalf of the children of Sparrow home.
    Afterward Juha spent a little more time with the children before heading out to another foster home. It’s been a long day for him and Nop.
    “I’ve been doing this for five years and I really enjoyed it. These kids doesn’t have much opportunity to see things like this. I’m glad my performance can make them smile. They really deserve it.” says Juha.
    Juha’s next destination is Malaysia and South Korea, he will continue to bring joy and smile upon children’s faces. He might not be a Santa Clause or dress like one but to these kids he is a kind funny man from a cold far away land who came across the world just to share them happiness. He gave a good memory to these children and the children have also shared a warm place in his heart.

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