South Korea is to scrap its traditional method of counting ages and adopt the international standard next June of 2023. A change that will knock one or two years of people´s ages.
South Korean are deemed to be a year-old when they are born, and a year is added every 1 January. It can be very confusing so, in the new law passed yesterday bring South Korea in-line with most other countries using the standard international age.
The complications do not end there: a separate system exists for calculating the age of men entering national service and the legal age to drink alcohol and smoke. In those cases, a person´s age is calculated from zero at birth and a year is added on New Year´s Day.
Since the early 1960s, however, South Korea has for medical and legal documents also used the international norm of calculating from zero at birth and adding a year on every birthday.
«The revision is aimed at reducing unnecessary socio-economic costs because legal and social disputes as well as confusion persist due to the different ways of calculating age,» Yoo Sang-bum of the ruling People Power Party told parliament.
South Korean lawmakers have approved a measure that would revise the way the country tallies a person’s age. This would end a system that counted newborns as a year old and meaning that most of its citizens are about to get younger.
«The revision is aimed at reducing unnecessary socio-economic costs because legal and social disputes, as well as confusion, persist due to the different ways of calculating age,» Yoo Sang-bum of the ruling People Power Party told parliament.
Many Koreans believe that the legislation may cause social issues. This is because Koreans determine how to call one another, for example, “Hyung” or “Dong Saeng” with their Korean age, which is decided by the year you are born in.
Once you start applying your age based on international standards, the language of how to call one another may become confusing to many Koreans, as everyone’s age changes frequently on their birthday.
Other Koreans mention that this is a good opportunity to get rid of hierarchy and language based on your age and blend into the global society following international standards.