Taiwanese Cultural Festival and dragon boat race this weekend!

Taiwanese Cultural Festival and dragon boat race this weekend!

The Taiwanese Cultural Festival is pretty cool… It is not the watered down Chinese and multicultural stuff you find at the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival.  Taiwanese youth exploring Taiwanese pop culture is evidenced by the Taiwanese rock bands imported for this year's show.

Past years have seen a parade of Taiwan's aboriginal culture, that distinguishes themselves from the imported Chinese culture, and as a distinct country and culture from the People's Republic of China.  And in Vancouver, the Taiwanese Cultural Festival have often brought in local Canadian aboriginal arts and culture.  This is a good way to help assimilate Taiwanese ex-patriates to become more aware and understanding of Canadian aboriginal or First Nations culture.  Wouldn't it be great to see a First Nations canoe team paddling in a Taiwanese dragon boat and a Taiwanese dragon boat team paddling in a First Nations war canoe?

This year's festival also promises a showcase of Taiwanese Hakka people.
Also check out: 

Puppets and Me, a historical perspective of Taiwanese puppets
presented by the City of Kaohsiung, which will host the 2009 World

– 19th-century model steam train exhibit also hosted by Kaohsiung.

– Barbie and Me II, a new exhibit showcasing the dolls through a
series of historical perspectives, including Taiwanese aboriginal, the
Japanese occupation era and the Chinese era,

check out the Vancouver Sun story by Karen Gram:

For dragon boat action check out the race schedules on www.dragonboatassociation.ca

The Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team will race at 10am in the first heat, in a Hong Kong style teak boat.  These are some of the re-conditioned dragonboats that were originally raced in 1986, when the Hong Kong Pavillion at Expo 86 donated 4 dragon boats to the city of Vancouver.

Our second race at 11:45am, is in a Taiwanese dragon boat, which was donated to City of Vancouver in 2003.  These boats feature flag grabbing to determine the winner.  But this is the NOGARD race (Dragon spelled backwards).  Instead of paddling up to the flag and grabbing it, you have to paddle past the flag, then back the boat up for the flag grabber to get the flag.  Many of the team simply turn around in the boat, and paddle forward while facing backwards in the boat… got it?

Our third race of the day will be a straight 500m race in a Taiwanese boat with a flag to grab before crossing the finish line.  But the time of the race is dependent upon our placement in our first race… so look for us in the 1:30, 2:00 or 2:30pm Taiwanese dragon boat heats.

On Sunday, teams will be settled into A, B, C or D divisions.  Semi-final races in the morning, and consolation and race finals in the afternoon.

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