Category Archives: GHFC World Poetry Night

Gung Haggis World Poetry Night January 24th at Vancouver Public Library

Gung Haggis World Poetry

returns to Vancouver Library Square

You are invited to the exciting World Poetry evening,
Gung Haggis Fat Choy, at the Vancouver Public Library.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy Poster Click to view/print the poster…

Hosts: Todd Wong, Ariadne Sawyer and Alejandro Mujica-Olea

Special guests:

Steve Duncan- host of Co-Op Radio Wax Poetic

Stephanie Chou

Dr. Ray Hsu – author of Anthropy, Cold Sleep Permanent Afternoon

Cara Kauhane

Joe McDonald – bagpiper

Michael Morris

James Mullen

A special blend of contemporary Scottish-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian poets,
mixed with ancient Scottish and Chinese traditions
of Robbie Burns Day and Chinese New Year.

Expect bagpipes, a Chinese dragon, and verbal fireworks!

For origins of Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year celebrations – click here

Happy Chinese New Year! Gee…. it's a lot like Scottish Hogmanay!

2009_January 234 by you.
A very multicultural group of poetry loving revelers shared food and drink at Library Square Pub on Chinese New Year's Day. Two international students from Brasil joined us along with Karen, a man from Iran, 5th generation Vancouverite Todd Wong, born in Scotland June Ventners-Clark, Peter Clark, Phoenix and Sherry Shigasu.

After the World Poetry Gung Haggis Fat Choy Gala at the Vancouver Public Library, some of us went to the Library Square Pub.  Monday night appetizers were 2 for 1.  We had nachos, spring rolls, popcorn shrimp and chicken wings.  Our multicultural crowd counted ancestry from around the world: Brazil, China, Japan, Scotland, Iran, Germany, India and more!

There are many similarities between Chinese New Year's Eve and Scottish Hogmanay:

1) Make lots of noise.  Chinese light firecrackers to create loud noises to scare away bad spirits.  Scottish also create loud noise by clanking kitchen pots and setting off cannons and church bells.  Doors are opened to let out bad spirits.

2) Pay off your debts. 
Chinese like to ensure that you start off the New Year with no debts
hanging onto your personal feng shui.  I think the Scots do the
same but especially to ensure that they aren't paying anymore interest.

3) Have lots of good food and visit friends.  Eat lots and be merry.  Both Scots and Chinese enjoy eating, hosting their friends and visiting their friends.  If you spend all your time visiting friends, then you don't have to cook for anybody.  But good guests always bring good gifts too!

4) Party on dude!  In
Asia, Chinese New Year celebrations will go on for days, lasting up to
a week!  Sort of like Boxing week sales in Canada.  In
Scotland, the Scots are proud partyers and are well known for making
parties last for days on end.

World Poetry Gung Haggis Fat Choy performs at Vancouver Library on Chinese New Year Day

2009_January 230 by you.

Monday night was the 6th Annual World Poetry Gung Haggis Fat Choy Gala.  This event was first created when I noticed there were no readings of Robbie Burns at the library… I contacted Ariadne Sawyer of the World Poetry Reading series to collaborate for this now popular program.

Just before our 7:30 start time, I chatted with the audience, explaining the origins of Gung Haggis Fat Choy, and sharing some of the events that happened the night before at the big Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, and at our small ceremony at the Robert Burns statue in Stanley Park – to celebrate the 250th Birthday of Robbie Burns.

We bring together the elements of Gung Haggis Fat Choy within a world context.  We feature poetry of Robbie Burns, China, as well as contemporary Scottish-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian poets.  And sometimes we add in music and dance and of course… singalongs.

This year's program was a lot of fun.  It was hosted by Ariadne Sawyer, Diego Bastianutti and myself.

We featured poet James Mullin and myself reading poetry by Robbie Burns.  I also brought my accordion to play some tunes too.

2009_January 195
Rita Wong, the 2008 BC Book Prize Poetry winner, read from her books
Monkey Puzzle and Forage.  With the World Poetry theme, Rita even read
a poem by Pablo Neruda, which Diego read in Spanish afterwards.

2009_January 197

Tommy Tao, explained how he ended up doing poetry translations of 9th
and 15th Century poetry, and how he has come to love it.  He read a few
poems about food and celebrations.I talked about some of the similarities about Chinese New Year and Scottish Hogmanay. 

2009_January 204

I read the Burns poem “A Man's A Man For A' That”, then later performed “Address to A Haggis.”

2009_January 209

James Mullin led a group of four volunteers to dance my parade dragon around the room while I played “Scotland the Brave” on my accordion.

2009_January 214

There were a number of Korean ESL students in the audience, and they really had a lot of fun.

2009_January 219

My earlier attempt at playing and singing “My Luv is Like a Red Red Rose” was easily redeemed by my playing of Scotland the Brave, and leading the audience in a group singalong of “Auld Lang Syne”

2009_January 225

Evrerybody really got into the spirit of the evening.  This photo features poets James Mullin, Tommy Tao along with a Korean language student and Peter Clark originally from the U.K.

Check out more photos:

World Poetry Gung Haggis Fat Choy @ VPL

World Poetry Gung Haggis Fat Choy Gala

Free Event: Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night at Vancouver Public Library

Jan 26/09–Gung Haggis Fat Choy at the VPL!

Vancouver Public Library
Central Branch
350 West Georgia St.
Alma Van Dusen and Peter McKay rooms
7:30 PM on Monday, January 26th
(the day after the BIG Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner at the Floata Restaurant January 25th)

Every year we do a FREE poetry evening at the Vanocuver Public Library in partnership with World Poetry collective.  Ariadne Sawyer and Alejandro Mujica-Olea are the wonderful organizers of World Poetry, which presents poetry readings at the Vancouver Public Library each month.

We bring together contemporary Scottish-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian poets, as well as reading Robbie Burns and presenting something very traditionally Chinese for Chinese New Year.  Many years ago, I noticed that there wasn't a Robbie Burns poetry night at the Vancouver Public Library, so I called up Ariadne, and we created something special.

Here's the message from Ariadne:

The World Poetry Reading Series and co-sponsors explorASIAN and the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop
invite you to celebrate the poetic traditions of Robbie Burns Day and
Chinese New Year with a distinctly Canadian twist — multilingually,
from Scotland, China, and countries around the world.
Hosts: Todd Wong (AKA Toddish McWong, right) and Diego Bastianutti.
Featured Poets:
•   Steve Duncan
•   Tommy W.K. Tao
•   James Mullin
•   Rita Wong

Featured Performances:
•   Ji-Rong Huang — Chinese Erhu
•   Ariadne Sawyer — Dragon Dream Dance
•   Bob Wilkins — Gung Haggis Fat Choy Pipe Band

Admission: FREE!
(But come early — seating is limited.)
Contact: 604-331-3603

Jan 15 – Sublime, entertaining, and full of surprises – Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night

Sublime, entertaining, and full of surprises
– Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night

Thursday January 15th
Vancouver Public Library
Central Branch

Ariadne Sawyer and Todd Wong, hosts of the 4th Annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night – photo Stephen Mirowski

old, something new, something borrowed, something brewed,” is how I
always describe the GHFC World Poetry Night.  And then sometimes
we just make things up as we go along… that is how creativity
works.  What else could you expect when the host of Co-op Radio's
“Creativity Rocks” program Ariadne Sawyer gets together with Gung
Haggis Fat Choy creator Todd Wong?

A little bit of Scottish music on this side… a little bit of Chinese
poetry on that side… a little bit of Robbie Burns from Ian Mason, and
a strange hybrid Chinese/Scottish dragon dance to bagpipes in the
middle of the poetry readings.

But just prior to all the literary readings, I had to do a quick
interview with Erin Cebula of Global TV for her weekly feature “Global
Village.”  Erin asked me questions about the origin of Gung Haggis
Fat Choy dinner and how I came to create collaborative programs with
other community groups such as World Poetry Night, Vancouver Society of
Storytelling, and the SFU Recreation Department…. all to culminate
into an unofficial Gung Haggis Fat Choy festival of events.

And all too soon, we heard the bagpipes calling.  I had to go join
the evening's performers for our traditional piping in ceremony. 
Piper Joe McDonald led us into the room.  Ariadne, myself, Fiona,
Shelly, Leon and Ian.  It's always a nice way to set the tone,
after Barbara Edwards, VPL librarian welcomes the audience to the
Vancouver Public Library.

Ariadne led off the welcomes, thanking all the poets for coming, then
she read her opening poem.  I also read a poem titled “My
Ancestors are hanging” about encountering a picture of my great-great
grandfather's brother “Rev. Chan Sing Kai” hanging in an photograph
exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1986.  I had written it in
1986 for a Canadian Literature course.  People liked it…  I
will print it here later.

Multi-instrumentalist Joe McDonald – with his flute and keyboard – photo Stephen Mirowski

Joe McDonald was next, and he played an original song on his Chinese
flute and
sang the words acapella.   Joe is truly a multi-talented
performing artist.  Throughout the evening he performed bagpipes,
keyboards, flute and harmonica.

Scottish-born Chinese Canadian Fiona Tinwei Lam read some selections
from her collection Intimate Distances.  Some drew on memories of
the distant land that she left while still a child.  Another
focussed on an intercultural relationship.

Fiona Tinwei Lam reading from “Intimate Distances” – photo Stephen Mirowski

I next introduced Dr. Ian Mason of the Burns Club of Vancouver, by
recalling our conversation earlier in the day that while Chinese had
invented the Ancient World, it was the Scots who  invented the
Modern World.  Burns was a philosopher ahead of his time, and Ian
was able to expand on these thoughts, giving examples of the life of
Robbie Burns.  While Burns died at the young age of 37 (a
collective sigh was ushered by the audience), he wrote about the
injustices of the tax and voting systems of the day – which could have
been considered treasonous.  Ian ended by talking about and
reading from “A Man's A Man For All That,” which asks for equality for
individuals, especially in the sense of voting privileges.  How
fitting a talk for Martin Luther King Day.

Leon Yang spoke about some customs for Chinese New Year, and read poems
both in Chinese and English.  Unfortunately, I didn't hear much
because I was outside in the hall helping to ready the evening's
surprise.  I had gathered six paddlers from the Gung Haggis Fat
Choy dragon boat team and some volunteers from the audience to assemble
beneath a long bolt of purple tartan plaid.  I gave Steven Wong
the large Chinese Lion head mask, and we quickly created the very first
Gung Haggis Fat Choy “Dragon Dance team.”

I returned to the stage and explained the differences between Scottish
dragons and Chinese dragons.  While European dragons are evil and
need to be vanquished, as in the picture of St. George and the Dragon,
Asian dragons are good and benevolent.  Being born in the year of
the dragon is considered very fortunate.  I asked the audience who
was born in the year of the dragon, and some people put up their
hand.  Audience members were quick to name that the coming Chinese
New Year on February 18th, would be the Year of the Pig / Boar.

“But not the Year of the Hog,” I remarked… as audience members
laughed.  And with that, I signaled to bagpiper Joe McDonald, and
he walked in piping, followed by the “Dream Dragon” which pranced into
the room and cajoled with audience members.  I explained how it is
good luck on Chinese New Year Day, that a dragon or Lion comes to your
store and accepts a lettuce hung from a stick.  And that since the
audience members didn't come prepared with lettuce they could hold out
money for the dragon to accept.  hee hee….

Poet Shelly Haggard read a Robert Service poem, and read her own in the
style of Service, the legendary Scottish-born poet who came to Canada
and wrote the immortal “Shooting of Dan McGrew” and the “Cremation of
Sam Magee.”  Shelly also read some original poems including one
with a Chinese theme of bamboo.

Our evening came to a close with a final poem reading of my friend Jim
Wong-Chu's poem “Recipe for Tea” – which describes how Tea came to
Scotland from China.  It is a poem for two voices for which
Ariadne read the voice describing a Chinese tea ceremony, and I read
the voice of social commentary.  It was warmly recieved by the

We came to a close with a singing of “My Haggis Lies Over the Ocean,”
sung to the tune of “My Bonnie” and a group circle of “Auld Lang Syne”
with everybody crossing their arms together in true Scots
fashion.  A little bit of Scots in every Chinese-Canadian
performer, and a little bet of Chinese in every Scots-Canadian
performer.  That was Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night.

January 15th, Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night at Vancouver Public Library

January 15th, Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night
at Vancouver Public Library

Check out the new January events brochure for the Vancouver Public Library
Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night is the feature picture. 

see the 2007 poster on the attachment!

Yup… that's me underneath the mask.

January 15th, Monday
Central Library, 350 West Georgia St.
Alice MacKay room (lower level)

Celebrating Robbie Burns Day and Chinese New Year. 
Featuring poets and performers:

Fiona Tinwei Lam
(author of Intimate Distances – Vancouver Book Prize finalist for 2005)
Leon Yang
Dr. Ian Mason (president of the Burns Club of Vancouver)
Joe McDonald (bagpiper, and band leader of Brave Waves)
Ariadne's Dream Dragon Dance
+ special guest to be announced.

Hosts are Todd Wong and Ariadne Sawyer

Review: Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night – Jan 16

Review: Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night

a year, the World Poetry Reading Series at the Vancouver Public Library
colludes and collides with the alignment of Chinese New Year and Robbie
Burns Day, and is marked by the appearance of Toddish McWong.  This
intersection is called Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night.

Sawyer and Alejandro Olea-Mujica are great friends to work with, as we
built a program to entertain our audience as well as inform them about
Chinese and Scottish traditions while serving up new Canadian writers,
proud of their Scottish and Chinese ancestral roots.  Following an
introduction by Vancouver Public Library Community Programs Librarian
Barbara Edwards, piper Joe McDonald led a parade of the performers into
the Alice Mackay Room, around the back, up the side and across the
front.  The original tune was appropriately titled “Gung Haggis Fat

Joe MacDonald, Ariadne
Sawyer, Alejandro Mujica-Olea, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Ian Mason of the Burns
Club of Vancouver – photo Deb Martin.

Introductions and welcomes were made by Todd Wong,
Ariadne Sawyer and Alejandro Olea-Mujica, who while acknowledging the
importance recognizing the multicultural holidays of Robbie Burns Day
and the Asian Lunar New Year, also recognized Martin Luther King Jr.
Day in the United States, and that Chile (Alejandro's home country from
which he was forced to flee in exhile during the Pinochet regime) just
elected a female president, to nice applause in the audience.

off the musical and poetical program were Todd Wong and Joe McDonald,
singing Loch Lomand.  Unfortunately while they both knew the same
chorus – they had different versions of the verses in their head.  But
it set a friendly tone for the evening, as the singalong words of
“You'll take the high road, and I'll take the low road,” set the stage
for Dr. Ian Mason, president of the Burns Club of Vancouver.  Mason
gave a wee eulogy about the works and life of Burns, and gave good
examples of his work. 

A Chinese fan dance was next on the menu as Yan Yan walked out in her
flowing costume and fan, set to contemporary Chinese music.  It was a
wonderful demonstration of how cultural dance traditions could be
merged with contemporary music.

next read a ballad set to guitar music, “The Ballad of Gung Haggis Fat
Choy”, which described how we mix all the cultures together, like
making a stew or dinner banquet.  Ariadne first created this work last
year, and it was so well recieved it was requested for this year.

Tinwei Lam, is a Scottish born lass of Chinese descent who came to
Canada at age 4.  She read from her book “Intimate Distances” which had
been a finalist for the 2004 Vancouver Book Prize, and picked
selections that related to cross-cultural dating and relationships…
and food!

A Mongolian dance was the final performance for the
first half.  Bright costumes and movements simulated Mongols riding on
horseback.  This was followed by a short
intermission, where many people checked out books and cds for sale by
the performers.

Joe McDonald and Todd Wong, leading a singalong…. – photo Deb Martin.

Joe McDonald gently played the tune “My Bonnie
Lies Over the Ocean”, bringing back the audience to their seats. Todd
introduced his children's poem-song about immigrants coming to Canada
titled “My Haggis Lies Over the Ocean, My Chow Mein Lies Over the
Sea.”  Smiles rose on many faces as they all joined in for the chorus. 
Todd explainined that he had been inspired to write songs and poems for
children by performers Rick Scott and Harry Wong who were going to be
featured artists at the upcoming Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns
Chinese New Year dinner.  To close off my time on the stage, I informed
the audience that it was an amazing coincidence that on Thursday night,
the library would be hosting a tribute to the 250th Anniversary of
Mozart's birtdahy.  Rick Scott's most requested song is his “Yo! Mo!
Concerto” where he does a rap tribute to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  I
next did my own rap tribute to Robbie Burns with his poem “To a Haggis.”

next introduced James Mullin, who read several of his poems which
created lovely peace imagery of wonderment.  Mullin is the book manager
of Tanglewood Books, and hedraws on his Celtic heritage.

Alexis Kienlen reading her poetry – Alejandro and Ariadne listen intently – photo Deb Martin.

introduced Alexis Kienlen by asking if anybody had read Saturday's
edition of the Vancouver Sun, as I pointed out Alexis' guest turn at
writing “Bedside Table.”  Kienlen took to the stage and read several of
her poems.  She shared with the audience that she had lived in many
parts of the world, including Mongolia, and the performance by the
dancers had coincidently coincided with some poems about her Mongolian
experienes she had chosen for the evening.  Kienlen also shared her
thoughts about growing up multi-racial in Canada, describing herself as
1/4 Chinese and 1/4 Scottish, with some french and english. Her poetry
was inciteful and very much appreciated by the audience.

off the program, the Chinese Dancers performed a final dance, Joe
McDonald and Todd Wong led a gentle rendition of “Scotland the Brave”
then Joe asked the audience to all stand and make a great circle
holding hands for the singing of Auld Lang Syne.  Yes, it sounds
hokey… but people loved it.  We could look at the smiles on
everybody's faces, with our arms crossed together.
The gang:  front row: Ian Mason, Shirley Sue-A-Quan, Yan Yan, Angela

back row: Joe McDonald, Alejandro
Mujica-Olea, Alexis Kienlen, Ariadne Sawyer, James Mullin, Fiona Tinwei
Lam – photo Deb Martin.

Saturday afternoon in Kitsilano – Oh the people you meet!

It's Saturday in Kitsilano – Oh the people you meet!

Kitsilano is a great neighborhood.  Filled with low income basement suites, students, expensive waterfront homes.
I went for a walk on Saturday afternoon with my girlfriend to pick up a
birthday cake for my father.  Little did I know it would be such
an adventure.

On a short walk we bumped into Liberal candidate Stephen Owen the
imcumbent MP for Vancouver Quadra. Owen is mainstreeting, along with
his wife and extended family including his cousin former Mayor Phillip
Owen.  I ask two women what he is minister for, and his wife
correctly tells me he is
Minister for Western
Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport).  She
introduces me to her husband Stephen, and I invite him to attend Gung Haggis Fat Choy,
my Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.  Owen is in good spirits,
he has heard of the event and he spontaneously these words fall from
his tongue:

Wee, sleekit, cowrin', tim'rous beastie,

O, what a panic's in thy breastie!

With this year's Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner falling on
Election Eve, it may be doubtful that many federal candidates may
attend.  But Stephen Owen doesn't say no. 

Former Mayor Philip Owen greets me as well and says he remembers
meeting me.  I am sure it was at a Terry Fox Run where we both
were speakers.  Of course I tell him that Mayor Sam Sullivan will
be at this year's GHFC dinner and last year then Mayor Larry Campbell
was our special guest.

Down the street we drop by Tanglewood Books.  Inside working
behind the cash register is James Mullin.  My girlfriend asks
James if he is all ready for Monday night for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy
World Poetry Night.  “Oh my God, yes!” says James who says he
might have to borrow a kilt because he doesn't own one.

We find that the Notte's Bon Ton Pastry & Confectionary
is closed for annual holidays.  Too bad.  So sad.  My
father will not get his favorite cake – The Mexican Hat cake.  My
2 1/2 year old nephew will not get a marzipan animal.  He really
loved the marzipan alligator I gave him in September for my mother's

Vancouver Kidsbooks
is one of my favorite places in Vancouver.  I
could spend hours hanging out in this Vancouver cultural institution
created by Phyllis Whitney.  I searched for Paul Yee's
book Struggle and Hope: The Story of Chinese Canadians, which I have
been recommending to people to show/give to anybody that opposes
redress for Chinese Canadian head tax/exclusion issues.  But it is
now out of print.  I read through Paul's new book Bamboo, and vow to purchase it the next time I attend a book signing with him.  I purchase two copies of Half and Half by Lensey Namioka
about a family that is half Scottish and half Chinese.  (Trivia:
way around 1984 I silk screened t-shirts for Phyllis when she first
opened her store.)

I bump into Shirley Chan
at Safeway, where we go to shop for a birthday cake.  Shirley
married a Scottish Canadian descendant, and her daughter has attended
Gung Haggis Fat Choy wearing a Chinese top, a mini-kilt and loves the
image.  I gave Shirley a copy of Half and Half as a spontaneous
gift.  We talk about Joy Kogawa
appearing at the upcoming Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, and she tells me
she had recently purchased Naomi's Road and was shocked to hear about
the potetial demolition of Kogawa House, Joy's childhood home.  Funny to bump into Shirley after only seeing her two days before at the launch for Mother Tongue,
Susan Poizner's new television documentary series about women who have
made a difference in their many ethnic communities.  It was
Shirley's mother, Mary Lee Chan, who had helped lead the protest
opposition to destroying Chinatown with a freeway.  Shirley
herself, ran as a Liberal candidate in the last election, and had been
Mike Harcourt's personal assistant while he had been Mayor at City
Hall.  Hopefully we will see Shirley at
Gung Haggis Fat Choy.

Gung Haggis dragon boat team APRES-PADDLE PARTY @ The ROXY

Come to our Paddlers' Appreciation Party…
because we appreciate how hard you paddle.
We appreciate how hard WE PADDLE….
FREE Tickets available…

Sunday – June 19th
7pm to 1am
@ THE ROXY nightclub
932 Granville St.
between Smithe and Nelson
Advance tickets only from Gung Haggis Fat Choy team members
tent #141

Tickets give you:
This is a gift from our sponsor The Roxy
We are pleased to help create a new Apres-ADBF paddling party
Sunday Nights are “Country Nights” at the Roxy – Be sure to bring your
boots and hats!

Congratulations to the PH&N Horny Goats dragon boat team who won
$1000 team sponsorship money by having the most team members attend our
June 5th 3-in-1 Paddler's Party – @ The Roxy, The Cellar and Doolin's
Irish Pub.

Fred Wah shines at Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry night event

Fred Wah shines at Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry night event at Vancouver Public Library

Wah held the audience in thrall
as he read his poems at the recent Gung
Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night reading January 17, at the Vancouver
Public Library, Central Branch.  Wah read poems from his many
works such as Diamond Grill and the collection Waiting for Sasketchewan
which had won him the Govenor General's Award for Poetry.  Wah
chose many poems to fit the evening's hybrid theme, many of them about
food.  He spoke about how food transcended cultures and recalled
the foods he had grown up with.  Just over 100 people attended the
evening and listend to Wah speek about his experiences growing up
hybrid between his father's mixed Irish, Scottish and Chinese heredity
and his mother's Swedish family while growing up in Canada's not always
multicultural-friendly communities. 

“It's not
always multicultural pretty,”
Wah  told the audience attending the
poetry event that blended together aspects of Scottish and Chinese
cultures and heredity to celebrate the relative proximity of Robbie
Burns Day (January 25) and Chinese New Year (this year on February 9).
Wha also talked about the challenges of growing up between the cultures
in Canada.  Co-host Todd Wong also addressed how early Scottish
pioneers and Chinese pioneers were often at different ends of disputes
– but now many cultures have married inter-racially in today's Canada,
including Scottish and Chinese pioneer descendents.

Scottish-born poet Dugald Christie, also a Civil Rights lawyer  read both
his own poems and a bit of Burns.  Beijing-born poet Shirley
Sue-A-Quan read part of a long poem, that addressed the many different
immigrant cultures coming to Canada.  Bagpiper Joe McDonald had
led the poet procession into the room playing both an original song
titled “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” as well as “Scotland the Brave.”  He
later lead a singalong of Loch Lomand and performed an original song
for which he also played a chinese flute.

This incredible culturally diverse evening started off with a tribute
to Martin Luther King Jr. as World Poetry co-hosts Alejandro
Mujica-Olea and Ariadne Sawyer recognized the birthday of the American
Civil Rights leader. Co-host Todd Wong and originator of Gung Haggsi
Fat Choy, spoke about Burns as a defender of civil rights and how both
the Scots and Chinese share values of hard work and helping to pionneer
this land called Canada.  Wong then read a poem titled
Chinese-Canadian Ode in Heroic Couplets, composed by Mr. Yuk-Man Lai
and translated by Dr. Jan W. Walls.  Wong finished off by reading
his own poem about immigrants coming to Canada titled “My Chow Mein
Lies Over the Ocean” interspersed with sung choruses of “My Bonny Lies
Over the Ocean” with the words chow mein or haggis substituted for

The evening started drawing to a closing with a group poem by the World
Poetry collective titled the Ballad of Gung Haggis Fat Choy World
Poetry.  Alejandro, Ariadne, Shirley and Dugald were joined on
stage by James, Jacinta and Shirley's husband Trev Sue-A-Quan (featured
in 2004's event).  The poem recognized the origins of the event
with creators Toddish McWong, Ariadne and Alejandro, and how 
different cultures each bring something to the mosaic of Canada. 
To end the evening, Wong and McDonald lead a singalong where all 100
audience members stood up in a circle and joined hands to sing the
imortal word of Robert Burns,  “Should old aquaintance be