The Taiwanese government has been forced to make an official plea to its citizens to stop changing their name to ‘salmon’, after a sushi chain launched a campaign that’s backfired in a major way.
Earlier in March, restaurant Sushiro announced that it would give away free sushi to anyone (and five of their guests) with the Mandarin characters 鮭 and 魚 in their name, which set together mean ‘salmon’.
The promotion would run for two days.
Hundreds of people rushed to legally change their name, in order to take advantage of the pretty sweet deal.
Some reported eating more than $300 of food within hours of their name change.
One of those people was a medical student, whose former surname was Chang.
He adopted the name Chang Salmon Dream, got his ID card printed, and rushed off to get his share of free sushi.
Full and satisfied, he went to change his name back. However, in Taiwan, you’re only allowed three name changes and then you’re stuck with it.
“Everybody was changing their names, so I did it too, but it was totally not worth it,” Chang told Taiwan News, who added he’s now trying to hide the blunder from his parents.
Other salmon-themed name changes included Kuo Salmon Rice Bowl, Salmon Prince, Explosive Good Looking Salmon, Meteor Salmon King and the classic favourite, Salmon Fried Rice.
One smart cookie decided to hedge their bets for any future promotions of a similar nature, changing their name to include 36 new (mostly edible seafood) characters, including abalone, crab and lobster.
As for our friend Chang Salmon Dream, the only way he can go back to his ‘normal’ name is if one of his older relatives also changes their name to Chang Salmon Dream – the country’s name act states someone can change their name if it’s “the exact same given name as an elder relative within three degrees of kinship”.
Good luck, Salmon Dream.