Taipei: Hundreds of Taiwanese found it the hard way the truth in the saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch! Lured by an offer of free or discounted meals by a Japanese sushi restaurant to people for anyone with the name “salmon” household registration offices have been flooded with people applying to change their name, reported Taipei Times.
The offer by Japanese sushi restaurant chain Akindo Sushiro led many people to change their names.
In Taichung, a college student surnamed Kuo changed her name to Kuo “Salmon Rice Bowl”, while a student at National Taichung University of Science and Technology changed his name to “Chou Shih-en feels salmon soup really tastes good.” After the name-changing craze attracted media attention, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee De-Wei during a plenary session on Friday proposed that before a name change application takes effect, there should be a buffer period of two weeks or one month, so that people can think carefully before going through with it.
People should be prevented from changing their names again for three years, to prevent wasting administrative resources, Lee said during a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan, reported Taipei Times.
The Constitution protects people’s right to change their name, while regulations only allow a person to change their name three times, Premier Su Tseng-chang said in response but added that Lee’s proposals could be considered.
Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-Yung said that before the restaurant marketed the offer, there were already 10 people named after salmon.
Hsu advised people not to change their names randomly, as it could be troublesome to correct official documents, such as graduation certificates, reported Taipei Times.
Meanwhile, by Friday, 159 people who changed their names for the promotion had reverted to their original names, Department of Household Registration data showed.
The Japanese restaurant on Wednesday and Thursday offered free meals and discounts to people whose names contained “salmon,” or those with homophonic names or characters, 298 people applied at household registration offices to change their names.
The restaurant promised those with proof of the unusual moniker could receive free meals for their entire table, while people with homophonic names can enjoy half-price and those with at least one homophonic character can receive 10 per cent off.