Friday, February 23, 2024
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South Koreans to get younger on paper

SEOUL (AFP) – South Korea has just passed a set of bills to abandon its traditional system of calculating ages.

The current system, widely known as ‘the Korean age’, recognises people as a year old at birth and also adds a year to their age every January 1 – rather than on their birth date.

But Seoul’s National Assembly passed bills requiring the use of the international age-counting system for official documents. It will be implemented by June next year.

The decision was made to “resolve the social confusion caused by the mixed use of age calculations and the resulting side effects”, the National Assembly said in a statement.

South Korea also uses the worldwide standard for some medical and legal records since the 1960s.

President Yoon Suk-yeol has been campaigning on the change, citing the administrative and social expenses resulting from having multiple ways of counting people’s age.

Some South Koreans were delighted by the news.

“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!”