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Taiwan Asks People to Stop Changing Names to 'Salmon'

Dozens of people have altered their monikers to take advantage of restaurant's sushi promotion
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2021 8:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – A restaurant chain promotion has led to what local media is calling "salmon chaos" in Taiwan, where people are now changing their names to get free or discounted sushi. The Central News Agency reports that the two-day offering from Sushiro entitles anyone whose name includes the Chinese characters for gui yu (which translates to "salmon") to receive a free, all-you-can-eat meal for themselves and five companions at any of the chain's 20 locations. Anyone whose name includes just one of those characters, or with the characters in a different order, will receive smaller discounts. The Guardian reports that since the promotion, which ends Thursday, was announced, dozens of people have showed up at government offices to change their names to include the characters. Those who've altered their monikers don't think their move is a big deal, especially since Taiwan allows everyone up to three name changes.

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"We'll just change our names back afterwards," one woman tells a local TV station. The Interior Ministry, however, notes that a "miscalculation" could end up making those changes permanent, per the Taiwan News, and officials are slamming the logistical strain. "This kind of name change not only wastes time but causes unnecessary paperwork," the deputy interior minister, Chen Tsung-yen, said on Thursday, pleading with the public to "cherish administrative resources," per the Guardian. So far, though, those who've incorporated "salmon" into their new identities don't seem to have regrets. One college student, whose new name translates to "Explosive Good Looking Salmon," bragged to local media that he's already chowed down $250 worth of sushi. A Sushiro rep tells the Washington Post more than 200 customers sporting a "salmon" name showed up Wednesday at one of the eatery's sites, noting: "We [appreciate] those who are willing to change their names for our sushi." (Read more Taiwan stories.)

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