Mr Yamaha of the Co Tu Hill Tribe and the incredible story of the shrinking world

17Aug09

“Mr Yamaha of the Co Tu Hill Tribe and the incredible story of the shrinking world” — that’s the name of my forthcoming debut novel (I’m scrapping plans to continue “Love in the Time of A/H1N1” after being accused of gross insensitivity by Mrs. Appleby, an avid reader and tenacious twitterer from Tea Tree Gully in Adelaide, Australia, who threatened to unsubscribe and unfollow my tweets).

Anyway, the seed has been planted by this snippet of a story from Reuters HQ: “An ethnic minority group in central Vietnam is taking foreign pop culture seriously, naming their children after South Korean actors and even motorcycle brands…” Full piece here.

Now, admittedly, this isn’t has shocking as say an Amazonian tribe suddenly dancing to hip-hop and naming their kids Jay-Z or Beyonce, but it’s still scores highly on the bizarre-ometer.

“Co Tu children’s first names are based on the translation of names from Korean television series such as “First Love”. The series aired in 1997 with characters such as Lee Hyo-Kyung, Chan Woo and Chan Hyuk.

The newspaper said people in the same commune also used motorcycle brands to name their children such as Bhonuoc Yamaha…”

Local authorities are apparently “trying discourage the practice.”

In case you’re wondering there is a population of about 65,000 Co Tu living in Quang Nam and Thua Thien-Hue provinces down in Central Vietnam.

And fair play to the lot of them.

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