Last month, the @nytimes visual journalist @malinfezehai went behind the scenes with a Chinese opera troupe in #Bangkok. The troupe, Sai Yong Hong, is one of about 20 Chinese opera troupes in Thailand. Their performances mix elements of martial arts, singing and dancing. Lines are delivered in Teochew, a dialect originating in Southern China. And the shows, which are commissioned by shrines, are free. “We don’t perform for people, we perform for the gods,” said the group’s manager, Tatchai Obthong. In the act, his troupe is helping to preserve one of the world’s oldest dramatic art forms. Backstage, actors spent hours applying layers of makeup, transforming into gods and goddesses, heroes and villains from Chinese folklore and mythology. One audience member, 63-year-old Wandee Tengyodwanich, said that Sai Yong Hong is Thailand’s best Chinese opera because of its elaborate costumes. The audience @malinfezehai met consisted mostly of older Thai-Chinese adults, some with grandchildren in tow. As audiences dwindle, though, some fear that the art will die out. But Obthong is confident. “As long as Chinese shrines exist and people continue praying,” he said, “the Chinese opera will be here.” Watch our Instagram Story to see more.