South Korea adopts international age standards, people to get age scrapped
South Korea is all set to scrap its traditional method of determining age of people and is adopting the international standard of age determination that that will strike one or two years off people’s ages officially. The people of South Korea are deemed one year old when they are born, and then a year is added every year on 1 January.
The unusual – and increasingly unpopular – custom means a baby born on New Year’s Eve becomes two years old as soon as the clock strikes midnight, The Guardian aptly mentions.
But there is more to really awkward and traditional age system of South Korea. The country has a separate system in place “for calculating the age of men entering national service and the legal age to drink alcohol and smoke”. In these cases, a man’s age is calculated from zero at birth and after that one year is added on every New Year’s Day.
The traditional system is expected to end in June on official documents at least to start with. “The revision is aimed at reducing unnecessary socioeconomic 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.
Despite the traditional age determination system is expected to be continued in use by certain people as they use their “Korean age” in daily life, many people are delighted by the new development. “I’m getting two years younger – I’m so happy,” one tweeted. “I turned two years old so soon after I was born, as I was born in December. Finally, I’m about to get my real age back!”
The law that was passed on Thursday will standardize using “international age across all judicial and administrative areas,” according to the parliament website. “The state and local governments shall encourage citizens to use their ‘international age’ and conduct necessary promotion for that,” it says.