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Etc...

OK, that's a little more like it

For years, concerned officials in Vietnam's Quang Nam Province appealed to Mai Xuan Can to be reasonable. Nope, he said, he was still angry at being punished because he and his wife had violated official government policy and produced more than two children. In fact, they went way over the limit, and in 1987 – on the birth of child No. 5 – the hammer came down. They were reported to the authorities and were forced to pay a heavy fine. So Can took it out on their final offspring, naming him Mai Phat Sau Nghin Ruoi. If you don't speak Vietnamese, that translates to "Fined Six Thousand Five Hundred," the amount (in dong, the national currency) of the penalty. Alas, as the boy grew, so did the ridicule he was subjected to by classmates at school. The appeals to Dad to agree to a name-change began in 1999. He wouldn't budge. But the story has a happy ending. Now comes word that Can has relented, perhaps because the officials put their argument more persuasively this time ... or perhaps because the government finally has relaxed its strict family-planning policy. So, although it's a bit late in the game – the lad has turned 19 – he'll henceforth be known as Mai Hoang Long, or "Golden Dragon."


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