Palembang puppet shows of Indonesia are based on the stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana. It is a local adaptation of the popular Javanese puppet shows. Sadly, Palembang puppet shows are now facing numerous problems. Like most traditional art forms, there is a lack of interest in the modern generation for the puppetry. There is also a dearth in professional Palembang puppeteers.
Palembang puppetry tradition is said to have originated in the 19th century. The shows are staged in the Palembang language. Apart from the stories from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, local stories and stories of ancient kingdoms are part of the puppetry.
UNESCO is funding around 15 Palembang puppet theaters and is helping youngsters interested in it. UNESCO also has plans to introduce this struggling traditional art form in other countries around the world.