The Chinese New Year of the Sheep (or Goat, if you prefer) is still over 2 weeks away, and already the local stores are bursting with food and signage for the new year celebrations.
I was shopping at the local Chinese grocery store – my new favourite place for the best in fresh produce – when my attention was captured by a huge display for KitKat chocolate bars. Not any KitKat bars, but a limited edition orange flavoured bar dressed up for the Chinese New Year.
It wasn’t initially the bar itself that made me do a double-take, but the display. As a Canadian, I’m used to seeing english-french bilingual signs and packaging. Living in the Agincourt area of Toronto, I’m also accustomed to seeing english-chinese signage. What was totally new to me however, was the french-chinese signage.
I must admit, I burst out laughing. The juxtapositioning of language and location appealed to my sense of humour.
I normally garner a lot of curious stares when I venture into the Chinese grocery store. I feel my visible minority status very keenly … but this day, I attracted more puzzled gazes than usual.
In the end, I couldn’t resist the purchase. I’m not a fan of KitKat bars … but Gilles is, and he can afford the calories. His verdict? Two thumbs up.
In case you are wondering, according to Mr Google, Gong Xi Fa Chai is Mandarin and Gong Hei Fat Choi is Cantonese. If you’re Chinese and I got this wrong, I’d love to hear from you.
Happy Chinese New Year.