Monday, 23 January 2012

Gung Haggis Fat Choy!

Todd Wong combines Chinese New Year with Robbie Burns Day: poetry slam with Kung Fu, highland dancers with sheng players, erhu and bagpipes, dragon boat racing, and a banquet with deep-fried haggis wonton. Seattle and other cities are copying.

"Toddish McWong" in the Sun Yat-Sen garden, Vancouver, with accordion and MacLeod tartan -- Deb Martin photo, courtesy of Globe and Mail 17 Jan 2011.
Gung Haggis Fat Choy! started in 1993 at Simon Fraser University when Todd Wong, a student and 5th generation Fascinated by the similarities of martial arts, ancient music and ancient foods, "Toddish McWong" created a Vancouver BC tradition. In 2007 he fund-raised to save Japanese-Canadian author Joy Kogawa's childhood home from demolition. Eighteen years later, he serves dinner for a thousand  and races with the GHFC dragon boat team, whose uniform is a Fraser Hunting kilt and a red shirt decorated with Chinese style "lucky" gold coins.
This Is Who We Are: Scots in Canada exhibition toured Canada and Scotland in 2009, featuring among other photos, Wong in a lion mask (right, a different pic from the one in the exhibition, tartan unidentified).

Left, Robin Hood tax mask from Adbusters mag.
For more cultural hybrids, see Todd Wong's GHFC webpage, a 2004 CBC-TV video clip, Brave Waves fusion music, Ricepaper (especially its green issue) and Adbusters magazines.

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