BBC Radio Scotland calling: Wants to interview Toddish McWong for Tartan week
contacting you because I'm looking for people who live outside of
Scotland but in some way celebrate Scottish culture, and I understand
you organise an event called Gung Haggis Fat Choy. I'm very interested
in speaking to you about this: what is Gung Haggis Fat Choy; why are
you interested in haggis (Scottish cuisine?)… Ideally, I would then
arrange to record you to be broadcast as part of a series on non-Scot's
celebrating Scottish culture. Currently I have a Scottish folk music
enthusiast in Cologne and (hopefully) the Philippines one and only
bagpipe player. I do hope this is of interest to you.
Radio Scotland's arts and culture programme, 'The Radio Café' the week
starting Monday 3rd April. It's a series I'm running across the week
with New York's Tartan Week (April 1-8) as the peg.
The aim of my series is to
reflect the influences of Scottish culture throughout the globe. The
sort of things I'll want to get from you – as discussed on the phone –
will be your personal story: why you're interested in Scottish culture;
what aspects of Scottish culture (the Chinese / Scottish angle is
v.v.v.interesting stuff; the maple leaf tartan; your 'clan name'!…
It's going to be a great interview.
I explained to Bronwen that for me, Scots and
Chinese culture are the two unofficial founding cultures of the province of
British Columbia, compared to Canada's official English and French founding
cultures. And of course there is the First Nations peoples
Growing up Chinese-Canadian, I was definitely not Scots. In fact,
the Scots represented a lot of the White-Canadian power and
institutional racism of Canada. The first Prime Ministers were
born in Scotland, as well as the “father” of BC – James Douglas.
It was the first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. MacDonald, born
in Glasgow, under whose government imposed the very first head tax on
Chinese immigrants to Canada in 1885.
But I have learned to embrace the
Scots as part of Canada's multicultural heritage. And now…. I have attended the Burns Club of Vancouver annual
“Big Night” dinners, and have been asked about joining.
I have put on
annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry nights at the Vancouver Public Library,
where we read traditional Robbie Burns + celebrate with contemporary
Scottish-Canadian and Asian-Canadian poets.