Pikachu is getting a new name and people have (literally) taken to the streets in protest

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Tuesday 31 May 2016 17:20
Showbiz

Pikachu, the adorable yellow Pokémon who made Ash Ketchum the envy of children (and adults, don’t lie you watched Pokémon too) all over the world.

Well, Pikachu is to be renamed.

Picture: Reactiongifs

Yes, renamed.

Picture: Giphy

The new, mandarin translation of the Japanese name, unveiled in Hong Kong (fear not, there don't appear to be plans to rename it anywhere else), will be, phonetically, Pei Ka Yau.

If you say it quickly, Pikayao.

The news dropped like a lead balloon in Hong Kong, and on Monday around 20 people went out with placards to protest the name change.

A member of anti-communist political group Civic Passion, Wong Yeung-tat told Hong Kong FP:

Of course, many think that this is only a gaming company’s decision to change a name on one of its products. But being in Hong Kong now, being part of this generation of Hongkongers, we are facing a lot of cultural whitewashing.

People took to the streets in protest

Traditionally, Pokémon names were regionally sensitive, but back in March Nintendo decided to use a simplified mandarin, as opposed to the original Cantonese for the translation of the Pokémon Company’s new game, Pokémon Sun and Moon.

The protesters were angry with the assumption that all Chinese-speaking territories speak the same dialect, when there are in fact a variety, including mandarin, min and Taiwanese, each with their own cultural and historical significance.

Over 6,000 people have signed a petition addressed to Nintendo, but it fell short, and Nintendo plans to keep the name.

indy100 has reached out to Nintendo for comment. Or Explanation. An apology?

Picture: Giphy

These are dark, dark days we live in.

HT: Hong Kong FP

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