Young and faithful: 20-year-old ordained as Taoist priest

Young and faithful: 20-year-old ordained as Taoist priest
The Taoist boy
Young priests, including undergraduates, are ordained. They can then preside over rituals (eg. weddings and funerals).

SINGAPORE - I get called 'boy boy' sometimes because of the way (I look). Someone once told others, 'Look at that Taoist boy!' - Mr Eugene Choy, 20

He is only 20, but commands a following and has the power to preside over important rituals like weddings, funerals and blessing ceremonies.

He is still waiting to serve national service.

Mr Eugene Choy, the only son of a welder, was among seven Singaporeans ordained as a Taoist priest yesterday.

His mere presence during the rites invoked double-takes among followers and strangers alike.

Smiling, Mr Choy said: "I get called 'boy boy' sometimes because of the way (I look). Someone once told others, 'Look at that Taoist boy!'"

He usually laughs off the comments.

They are not the only ones who are surprised. When his father, Mr Choy Kwok Weng, learnt of his religious interest, his first words were: "Really? I thought those of your generation are not keen on such things."

Mr Choy, 53, said in Mandarin: "We're Taoist and visit the temples on special occasions. But my (younger) daughter, nieces and nephews have never asked about religious matters.

"Our family is quite open (when it comes to faith), I leave it to my children to decide."

SEEKING FAITH ONLINE

The younger Mr Choy's interest in Taoism started at the end of 2012.

He was then studying game and entertainment technology at Temasek Polytechnic and he chanced on Mr Chung Kwang Tong's blog.

Mr Chung, 29, who is also known as Master Wei Yi, is the youngest council member on the Inter-Religious Organisation, which promotes religious harmony.

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