The New Law Makes Everyone In South Korea One Year Younger
South Korea has recently implemented a groundbreaking law that has led to a significant change in the ages of its citizens. The new law makes everyone in South Korea one year younger. Previously, the country employed two distinct age-counting methods known as the 'Korean age system' and the 'counting age' system.
However, a new law has been announced, aligning South Korea's age-counting system more closely with international standards, and it took effect on June 28th.
In contrast to the international practice where a newborn is considered to be zero years old and turns one after living for a year, South Korea's 'counting age' system designated newborns as zero and added a year to their age on January 1st each year, irrespective of their actual birth date.
The traditional 'Korean Age System', on the other hand, assigned a child one year of age at birth, accounting for the time spent in the womb, and added another year on January 1st.
To illustrate the impact of this change, let's consider an example. Suppose someone was born on December 31st. According to the 'Korean age' system, they would turn one on December 31st and then become two on the very next day. However, under the new law, South Korea will now adopt the international standard or calendar age system, which counts age based on birth date. Consequently, citizens will witness a reduction in their age by one or even two years.
The motivation behind this revision was highlighted by Yoo Sang-bum, a member of the ruling People Power party, who gave a statement last year.
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, Member of the People Power Party
It is worth noting that certain statutes utilizing the 'counting age' system will remain in place. Therefore, if you have recently turned 19, the legal age to purchase cigarettes and alcohol in South Korea, you can still avail yourself of these products based on the 'counting age' system, rather than your actual birthdate.
The change in law has been met with widespread support and enthusiasm among South Koreans. Jeongsuk Woo, a content creator, expressed delight at this new change.
There is a subconscious layer of ageism in people's behavior. This is evident even in the complex language system based on age... I hope the abolition of the 'Korean age' system and the adaptation of the international standard get rid of old relics of the past.- Jeongsuk Woo, Content Creator
Doctor Hyun Jeong Byun, who now finds himself two years younger due to his December birthday, welcomed the change wholeheartedly.
I love it... Now that Korea is following the globalstandard, I no longer have to explain my 'Korean age' when I go abroad.- Doctor Hyun Jeong Byun
The implementation of this new law marks a significant step towards harmonizing South Korea's age-counting practices with those used internationally. By aligning with the global standard, the country aims to eliminate confusion, legal disputes, and social challenges caused by the different age calculation methods. As South Koreans embrace this change, they can look forward to a more streamlined and consistent approach to age counting that reflects the practices followed by many nations worldwide.