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Tue, Nov 19, 2013
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I am Chicken

Some are born with unusual names.

But others have chosen unique monikers for themselves.

The name Chicken might sound demeaning or disrespectful, but one operations director at a roofing company has gladly taken it on. Says Mr Chicken Ong, 45: "That's how people have come to know me. Why shouldn't I embrace it?"

He got the nickname about 20 years ago, after winning a chicken-eating competition at the office.

He recalls: "It was an office celebration, and someone brought in a lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

"I ate five pieces at one go. After that, my colleagues started calling me Chicken, and it stuck."

His family and friends soon caught on, and the name is now found on his business card.

He says: "At one point, some friends tried to stop calling me by that name.

"They thought it was demeaning to me, like they were calling a pet or a prostitute."

Misunderstandings have also occurred when his friends' wives saw his name saved in their husbands' phones.

Despite such incidents, he has chosen to keep the name.

Says Mr Ong: "Chicken actually describes me quite accurately.

"I like to eat chicken very much. In the past, I used to eat chicken dishes almost every day.

"But nowadays, I eat less chicken because there is simply more variety of food available."

Army regular Twelve Ong, 30, went as far as to officially change his name through a deed poll in 2003.

The name was initially his nickname on the Internet. He says: "It's actually inspired by a movie character played by Andy Lau. I took on the name because I found it unique and cool."

Some friends have teased him by calling themselves "eleven" or "thirteen", but Mr Ong doesn't mind.

"Now that I'm older, I feel it is meaningful for people to find their own names," he says.

"It's good to have a story behind each name."

A spokesman for the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority says it will accept name changes on one's identity card as long as the required documents are produced and the new name is not offensive, in numeric form, in symbols without phonetic significance and is not obscene, among other considerations.

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