SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival – Dragon Cart Races + Human Curling

SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival: A success with Dragon Cart Races + Human Curling

Human curling made it's world debut as the first event of the SFU Gung
Haggis Fat Choy Festival.  Car tires were fitted onto a wooden
platform with roller wheels, and floated easily across the SFU
Convecation Mall towards a target with points.  Human contestants
sat upon each “rock” as their team mates gave a good push  to
launch them towards the target.

It was all part of the 2nd annual SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Festival,
which aims to bring the growing Asian student population together with
Simon Fraser University's Scottish traditions.  Rather than create
a traditional “Highland Games” the SFU Recreation department approached
SFU alumni Todd Wong, to help them create a culturally inclusive and
interactive new approach. 

Wong had first donned a kilt for the SFU Robbie Burns Day celebrations
as a student in 1993, and the 5th generation Chinese-Canadian was
inspired by a new approach to multiculturalism, by learning about
“Scottish Canadian” culture and history.  In 1998, Wong created
the first Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner blending together Chinese New
Year traditions with a traditional Robbie Burns dinner.  Each
year, the event grew until it reached 570 people at the Float
Restaurant in Vancouver's Chinatown.  Last year's dinner served
430 people.

In a “Gung Haggis” spirit of interculturalism, Dragon Cart racing was
launched in 2005.  Teams  of 7 (six paddlers + one
steersperson) pretend they are in traditional Chinese dragon boats, and
race against a rival team to the finish line.  This has become a
fun event with such team names as the CAC Bananas, the High Rollers,
and The Haggis Punters – who eventually became the winners of the
Dragon Cart Races.  Teams wear Chinese and Scottish inspired
costumes, hats and outfits.  Gung Haggis Fat Choy creator, Todd
Wong, was the play by play commentor for the race finals in the
afternoon.  He spiced up the commentating with trivia about dragon
boat history, Simon Fraser, and both Scotland and China.

There was also an event to create a world's record of haggis
eaters.  About 70 people took the challenge to be part of a
record-setting team – many for the first time trying haggis.  The
number was far short of the expected audience of 400 for the Gung
Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year banquet that will be held
Sunday, January 26th.  But the atmosphere of fun, cultural openess
and sharing, and surprises was equally expressed.  

Traditional highland dancing was presented by the SFU Celtic Dance
Club, and a lion dance was presented by the SFU Kung Fu Club.  The
SFU Ceremonies department had a Scottish-inspired platform party that
visits each of SFU's campuses in Burnaby, Surrey and downtown
Vancouver.  Frank Campbell gave a very entertaining reading of the
Burns poem “Address to the Haggis.” 

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