Pop culture names popular with Vietnamese tribe

Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:47am EDT
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HANOI (Reuters Life!) - An ethnic minority group in central Vietnam is taking foreign pop culture seriously, naming their children after South Korean actors and even motorcycle brands, a state-run newspaper said on Saturday.

Babies in Co Tu hill tribe in Quang Nam province now have names such as Pholoong San Diu, Riah Thi Su U, Briu Thi Hy Su, Poloong San Oc and Poloong Hien U, the official Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper said. The family name come first in Vietnam.

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.

"This is a new social issue which has emerged in the remote area," the report said, adding that the local authorities were trying discourage the practice.

Of Vietnam's nearly 86 million people, the Co Tu tribe has more than 65,000 people and live mainly in the mountainous areas in provinces of Quang Nam and Thua Thien-Hue. (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)