South Koreans become a year or two younger as traditional way of counting  age scrapped | World News,The Indian Express

In a significant cultural shift, South Korea has recently abolished its traditional method of calculating age, leading to South Koreans effectively becoming a year or two younger overnight. This move has sparked widespread discussions and debates across the country, with both positive and negative reactions from the public. In this article, we will delve into the details of this groundbreaking change, its implications, and the reasons behind it.

The Abolition of the Traditional Age Calculation System

For centuries, South Koreans followed a unique method of counting age, known as the “Korean Age System.” Under this system, individuals are considered one year old at birth and gain an additional year on New Year’s Day, regardless of their actual birthdate. This system often caused confusion, particularly in cross-cultural contexts, where individuals accustomed to the internationally recognized method of age calculation found it perplexing.

Recognizing the need for modernization and aligning with global standards, the South Korean government decided to abandon the Korean Age System. The change, which came into effect on January 1, 2023, reflects a progressive step towards embracing a more accurate and universally understood method of age calculation.

The Impact on South Korean Society

The scrapping of the traditional age counting system has had a profound impact on various aspects of South Korean society. Let’s explore some of the significant implications of this transition:

1. Personal Identity and Self-Perception

With the introduction of the new age calculation method, South Koreans are now adjusting their personal identities and self-perception. Individuals who were used to being a certain age under the old system must now adapt to the revised framework. This adjustment may have psychological and emotional effects, as people grapple with a shifted sense of self.

2. Interpersonal Relationships

The change in age calculation also influences interpersonal relationships within South Korean society. Age has traditionally held great significance in Korean culture, often determining social hierarchies, respect levels, and expectations. With the revised system, the dynamics between individuals of different ages might shift, potentially impacting social interactions and hierarchies.

3. Economic Implications

The alteration in the age calculation system can have economic implications as well. Age plays a crucial role in various domains, such as employment, retirement, and social welfare. The adjustment may necessitate changes to existing policies and regulations concerning these areas, ensuring fairness and equality for all individuals affected by the age recalibration.

Reasons Behind the Change

Several factors contributed to the decision to discard the traditional age counting system:

1. Globalization and Standardization

As South Korea continues to engage in global interactions, the need for conformity with international standards becomes essential. The traditional Korean Age System often led to confusion and misinterpretation in cross-cultural contexts. By adopting a more universally recognized method of age calculation, South Korea aligns itself better with global practices, facilitating smoother communication and understanding.

2. Technological Advancements

Advancements in technology and the rise of the internet have played a significant role in this shift. With increased connectivity and exposure to diverse cultures, South Koreans are more aware of alternative age counting systems used around the world. The ease of information exchange has facilitated discussions and comparisons, leading to a reevaluation of the traditional Korean Age System.

3. Changing Cultural Norms

South Korean society has been witnessing gradual changes in cultural norms and values. Younger generations, influenced by Western ideas and practices, have expressed a desire for a more straightforward and transparent age calculation system.