My last week of July… filled with intercultural incidents
There is never enough time to write about everything I do… but for
the past week – here are some intercultural highlights and thoughts.
July 20th Tang Concubines.
I went to see Tang Concubines at the Centre in Vancouver
for Performing Arts. It was amazing… the acrobatic feats, dance
choreography. I went with my friend Meena, who was born in
Beijing. Meena kept hitting me on the shoulder, exclaiming how
fantastic the show was. We agreed that it was for more of a
Chinese audience, or at least an audience that could appreciate Chinese
culture and history more, or interested in it. Lots of classical
Chinese stylizations in the dance and movement. It certainly made
it interesting to learn about the Tang dynasty and the roles that the
first Women empress and the emperor's favorite concubine's played.
Looking forward to seeing the remount of Terracotta Warriors and Of Heaven and Earth.
July 22/23 – Vernon Dragon Boat Festival.
The sleepy town of Vernon was very excited to “dot” the “eyes of the
dragon” and host the 2nd annual Greater Vernon Dragon Boat Races.
I met a lot of Vernon people who were dragon boating for the first
time. I even got to steer the boat for the Vernon breast cancer
survivor team “Buoyant Buddies.” Our Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon
boat team was there enjoying the hot weather and spreading our
multicultural message of intercultural harmony. Four of us wore
kilts, in the 41 degree weather (thankfully cooler on the
Saturday). Lots of questions about the kilts, and compliments on
our team shirts. Look for a Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner coming to
Vernon or Kelowna for January 2007!
Wednesday – Fireworks – July 26th.
Italy lit up the sky. A small group of dragon boaters watched
from a rooftop patio in Kitsilano with a brand new friend, our host for
the evening. We shared mutual love of music including Sinatra,
Volare, and other Italian masterpieces such as Puccini and Verdi, and
Rossini. Wine, music, fireworks, a roof top hot tub and dragon
boat buddies to share it with. What could be better?
Chinese ethnicities mixed with Scots, Malaysian, Newfoundland, English,
French and whatever else in between and beyond.
Thurday night – COPE fundraiser BBQ at Rowing Club.
My friend Meena is now the cultural liason for COPE, and insisted I
drop in after I finished my work shift at the Central library. I
parked my car, just down from the stature of Robbie Burns just inside
the entrance to Stanley Park, across from the Rowing Club. It was
great to meet so many interesting people, as Meena introduces me as
“Toddish McWong.” There was a silent auction. One of the
prizes featured a dvd titled “The Vanishing Tattoo” about tattoo artist
Thomas Lockhart's trip with adventurer Vince Hemingson in Borneo to find some of the aboriginal tattoo
artists and “the last authentic tattoo”. Of course this big prize included a $100 certificate for
at tatoo at his West Coast Tattoo studio.
I quickly recognized the picture of Vince
who comes to kilts night – in the video too! After
introducing myself to Thomas Lockhart, who was attending with his partner Sharon Gregson (COPE school trustee) – I had to put a bid on the prize.
Surprise! I out bid a number of people… Now what design
to tattoo? and where? Maybe the “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” logo and
dragon head wearing a tam? What will my girlfriend say?
Maybe I can appease her by offering her the prize?