Tue, Feb 21, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Two people share more than just names

By Lo Tien-pin  /  Staff Reporter

Two men, both named Hsu Te-chung, show their ID cards to reporters in Taipei on Sunday. They met each other at the Veterans Affairs Commission’s Training Center several days ago and later discovered that their younger brothers and sisters also have exactly the same names.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Having two people with identical names is not that rare, but it is certainly more unusual for those people’s siblings to also have the same names, an odd coincidence that amazed two men named Hsu Te-chung (徐德忠).

After retiring from the military last year as a colonel, Hsu Te-chung, of Keelung, came across a former trainee that shared his name as he signed up this year for a baking laboratory held by the Training Center of the Veterans Affairs Commission.

Much more to his surprise, he discovered that they both graduated from a military academy, both their brothers were called Hsu Te-ming (徐德明) and both of their sisters were named Hsu Mei-ling (徐美玲).

The two Hsu Te-chungs were astonished at the coincidence, saying they had never heard of such a thing, let alone believing it could actually occur to them.

They said the coincidence was “of lower probability than being struck by lightning.”

Training Center director Mou Chung-te (牟崇德) said that he only knew of two people in the past who shared the same name, but neither had siblings with the same names, and described the -coincidence as “exceptional.”

The other Hsu Te-chung, of Jhonghe District (中和) in New Taipei City (新北市), recalled his amazement, saying he received a telephone call a few days ago from a man who also claimed to be Hsu Te-chung.

“I thought it was a crank call and wouldn’t buy his story, but after he named the teacher from my baking laboratory, I was amazed,” Hsu Te-chung of Jhonghe said.

However, he remained dubious about the coincidence, as he visited his baking instructor with other former trainees in the Training Center to discuss plans for a business startup.

He then happened to meet Hsu Te-chung of Keelung, who was also attending classes that day, and the pair soon started a conversation that included talking about their family backgrounds.

Hsu Te-chung from Jhonghe then happened to come across a contact named “Hsu Te-ming” in his Keelung counterpart’s smartphone when the latter was showing him numbers on his telephone.

Out of curiosity, Hsu Te-chung of Jhonghe asked his namesake about his relationship to Hsu Te-ming.

“He is my brother,” Hsu Te-chung from Keelung said.

“It can’t be! My brother is also named Hse Te-ming,” Hsu Te-chung of Jhonghe said in surprise.

The Keelung Hsu Te-chung then asked: “Do you happen to have a sister by the name of Hsu Mei-ling?”

“Unbelievable, I really do have a sister who shares that name,” the Hsu Te-chung from Jhonghe replied.

During their meeting in Taipei on Saturday, the pair also displayed their ID cards and other documents to verify the odd coincidences.

The Jhonghe Hsu Te-chung said his siblings had both filed for name changes for personal reasons a few years ago, but were still called by their original names at family reunions.

Commenting on the possibility of all the siblings meeting together, “It’s up to fate since our siblings are all grown-up individuals,” Hsu Te-chung of Jhonghe said.

“I was merely signing up for the baking laboratory out of my own interest. Who could have expected all of this?” Hsu Te-chung of Keelung said.

“Life is a wonder and God always has a plan for everyone,” he said.

Translated by Stacy Hsu, staff writer

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