Friday, July 07, 2006

All This Trouble Over 6,500 Dong

From the Associated Press:

HANOI, Vietnam - After nearly two decades of ridicule, a father has agreed to change his son's name from "Fined Six Thousand and Five Hundred" — the amount he was forced to pay in local currency for ignoring Vietnam's two-child policy.

Angry he was being fined for having a fifth child, Mai Xuan Can named his son Mai Phat Sau Nghin Ruoi after the amount he was forced to pay — 6,500 dong (50 cents), said Dai Cuong village chief Nguyen Huy Thuong.

In 1999, local government officials tried to persuade Can to change the name because the boy was constantly being teased by classmates at school. But Can, a former People's Committee official, refused to back down, Thuong said. They appealed to him again recently, and this time it worked.

"I told him that as his son is growing up, he should have another name — not that weird name — and he finally agreed," Thuong said.

The son, now 19, finally got a new name: Mai Hoang Long, which means golden dragon.

Too bad it doesn't mean "I Got My Ass Kicked Up And Down The Playground Because My Father Is A Cheap Asshole Who Couldn't Part With Fifty Cents."

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