After 10 years of walking around in a kilt, saying that Gung Haggis Fat Choy speaks to the post-multicultural intersection of Scottish-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian pioneer history in BC, people are bound to take a few fun pokes. After the initial “shock”, “Wow – that's cool”, and “Are you for real?” – people settle down and look at how the simple transformation of words and phrases, can transform how we think about objects, traditions, society and even our selves.
There was one mandarin speaker who approached our wood carving tent at
the 2005 SeaVancouver tent, where members of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy
dragon boat team were carving a wooden dragon boat head, as part of a
demonstration. He insisted that we should be selling haggis, because
he thought that our banner “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” was a
Some Chinese mandarin speakers dont' quite get the play on the words, because the cantonese Gung Hay Fat Choy / Kung Hei Fat Choi phrase in Mandarin is Gong Xi Fa Cai. I once had a heck of a time, trying to explain that to somebody who was writing the Wikipedia entry. Haggis probably untranslatable in any language. It just goes to show that words, their arrangments and their meanings, can all have a diversity to whomever writes or reads them.
Craig Takeuchi knows all about the racial stereotypes Canadian born Asians have faced growing up in Canada, He is 4th generation Canadian of Japanese descent and has written an interesting story below, playing on the word playing of Gung HAGGIS FAt Choy.