South Koreans turned a 12 months or two youthful on Wednesday after a regulation standardizing the best way the federal government counts age took impact.
There are three common ways to rely age in South Korea, however the authorities has modified its civil code to acknowledge one: ranging from zero on an individual’s date of beginning and including a 12 months at every birthday.
That is the age-counting technique used most frequently around the globe, however it’s a departure from the nation’s hottest technique, usually known as “Korean age.” Underneath that system, an individual is taken into account 1 12 months outdated at beginning, and a 12 months is added to their age every Jan. 1. This meant that an toddler born on Dec. 31 was thought of 2 years outdated the subsequent day.
Why It Issues: The mess of methods brought about confusion and errors.
The three methods for counting age have confused and inconvenienced South Koreans in all types of conditions together with well being suggestions, labor disputes and social hierarchy.
For instance, some well being officers used inconsistent age requirements for coronavirus vaccinations. So, an individual could possibly be required to indicate proof of vaccination primarily based on their age underneath one system but would not actually be old enough to get a vaccine underneath one other system.
Supporters of the change say the brand new normal will scale back these conflicts.
However it doesn’t but apply to all circumstances.
Youngsters will proceed to begin elementary college utilizing the nation’s third counting system, generally known as “12 months age”: Age-counting begins as zero at beginning, then provides a 12 months each Jan. 1. Underneath this method, a child born on Dec. 31 turns 1 the subsequent day.
For now, “12 months age” can even nonetheless be used to find out whether or not an individual can drink, smoke or serve within the navy. So, an individual born in any month of 2004 is taken into account 19 years outdated and, subsequently, is eligible for all these issues.
Background: The opposite counting strategies are a deeply rooted customized.
The brand new official age-counting technique has been used for many authorized and official functions in South Korea because the Nineteen Sixties.
South Korean lawmakers accredited a invoice in December to scrap the opposite age-counting strategies and “reduce pointless conflicts associated to age and to ascertain social practices that conform to worldwide requirements.”
There was broad help for the change from politicians and the general public. Greater than 80 percent of residents the federal government surveyed in September mentioned that they supported the invoice.
Suh Chan S., a sociology professor at Chung-Ang College in Seoul, told The New York Times last year that whereas China and Taiwan used related age-counting strategies, South Korea stood alone in formally recognizing them.
It stays to be seen whether or not the opposite age-counting strategies can be deserted altogether.