After a sudden surge, Taiwanese authorities are asking people to stop changing their names. “Salmon” has quickly become a popular name for many young Taiwanese due to a limited-time offer from a popular chain of sushi restaurants.
The restaurant chain Sushiro has promised that people can get free sushi if they have the Chinese characters for salmon in their name—Gui Yu. The offer is good for that person and up to five others in their party. The result of this promotion is that many Taiwanese citizens have changed their names to include Gui Yu. In recent days, around 150 mostly young people have turned up to change their name.
“I just changed my name earlier today. Now my name is “Bao Cheng Gui Yu. We have already eaten over 7,000 Taiwanese dollars’ worth,” a student told a local TV channel. That sum is around 2,000 kroner [US$225]. Bao Cheng Gui Yu can be translated as “explosive, beautiful salmon.”
Several others have chosen various different combinations of names containing “salmon”. Examples can be translated to mean “salmon prince,” “meteor salmon king” and “salmon fried rice.” “I have changed my first name to ‘Salmon.’ Two of my friends did so, too. We’ll just change our names back afterward,” said a woman to the TV channel SET TV.
Not everyone is amused with the name changes. The authorities are asking people to stop.
“This type of name change is a waste of time. It also creates an unnecessary amount of paperwork,” Chen Tsung-yen, Deputy Minister of the Interior said Thursday. “I hope people can be more rational.”