In the Cantonese language, there are two different ways to say “thank you”: “M’goi” and “Doh jeh” and it all depends on the context in order to understand when to use these two phrases. This upcoming exhibit called M’Goi/Doh Jeh: Sites, Rites and Gratitude is about understanding this cultural context. The curator of this exhibition is Tyler Russell, with projects by Kathryn Gwun-Yeen Lennon and Lydia Kwa, as participating artists.
There are two parts to this exhibit. The first part is by a poet named Lydia Kwa and it showcases her artwork called Linguistic Tantrums.
The second part is Saturday School and it is organized by Kathryn Gwun-Yeen Lennon. This is where Cantonese lessons will be offered, as a way for people to engage with the neighbourhood and for one to learn “survival Cantonese” which can help one order food in a restaurant and shop for groceries around Chinatown. Other simple knowledge one can obtain includes basic Cantonese greetings and numbers, enough to get oneself around Chinatown. In total, there will be 7 lessons and participants have a choice of registering for the entire program, or attend lessons on a drop-in basis.
To be put simply, this exhibition is about how we say thank you, learning survival Cantonese and getting familiarized to Chinatown history as well as the neighbourhood. This is a great opportunity for one to understand and build relationships between these cultural communities and heritage customs.
M’goi/Doh Jeh runs from April 24 to June 14 at Centre A (229 E. Georgia St., Vancouver, B.C.). The opening reception is on April 24, from 7-10pm. For more information, visit the Centre A website.