Dozens of people have changed names to include ‘gui yu’ to take advantage of sushi promotion
A Taiwanese official has pleaded with people to stop changing their name to “salmon” after dozens made the unusual move to take advantage of a restaurant promotion.
In a phenomenon that has been labelled “salmon chaos” by local media, about 150 mostly young people visited government offices in recent days to officially change their name.
The cause of this sudden enthusiasm was a chain of sushi restaurants.
Under the two-day promotion, which ended on Thursday, any customer whose ID card contained “gui yu” – the Chinese characters for salmon – would be entitled to an all-you-can-eat sushi meal along with five friends.
Taiwan allows people to officially change their name up to three times.
But Taiwanese officials were not amused. “This kind of name change not only wastes time but causes unnecessary paperwork,” the deputy interior minister, Chen Tsung-yen, told reporters on Thursday as he urged the public to “cherish administrative resources”.
“I hope everyone can be more rational about it,” he added.
Local media ran interviews with people who had taken advantage of the promotion. “I just changed my name this morning to add the characters ‘Bao Cheng Gui Yu’ and we already ate more than Tw$7,000 (£176),” a college student surnamed Ma told the TVBS news channel in southern Kaohsiung city.
Roughly translated, Ma’s new moniker means: “Explosive Good Looking Salmon.”
“I’ve changed my first name to salmon and two of my friends also did,” a woman surnamed Tung told SET TV. “We’ll just change our names back afterwards.”
Other salmon-themed names reported in local media included “Salmon Prince”, “Meteor Salmon King” and “Salmon Fried Rice”.
The United Daily News reported that one resident decided to add a record 36 new characters to his name, most of them seafood themed, including the characters for “abalone”, “crab” and “lobster”.