Thursday, 2 February 2017

Should Korea get rid of their age system and use international age instead?

Question: "Should we change our age system?"
46.8% Let's keep the 'Korean' age system (Black)
44.0% Follow the international age system (Pink)
9.2% I don't know (White)

America: "When I first heard of the Korean age system, I thought it was very interesting.  In the US, when you're born you're considered 0 years old and you'll turn 1 year old after a year."
Japan: "I thought it was weird when I first heard about it. It's hard to understand."
China: "In China, you're 1 year younger than in Korea. So when I'm in China, I get younger but when I come to Korea, I get older."

The Korean age system has it roots in China but everyone has abolished it except Korea.
Now it's just called the 'Korean age'.  The four countries that used to use it:
China: Abolished it after the Cultural Revolution
Japan: Abolished in 1902, completely disappeared after 1950
Vietnam: Abolished after the French colonization 

What's problematic about the aging system:
A child 'A' born December 31st, 1999 at 11:59 p.m. 
A child 'B' born January 1st, 2000 at 12:01 a.m. 

They were born 2 minutes apart but according to the Korean aging system, they are a year apart.

- My cousin is literally 3 months old, but he's "2 years old" now ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
> ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Same when I was born, I turned 2 years old in 2 days.. hing
> Me too I was born on December 31st so in 5 hours I was already two

- I'm curious about something.  Overseas, do they call those who were born in the same year as them but already had their birthdays passed "unnie, oppa, noona, or hyung"?  Or do they just consider each other as friends so they don't really use these?
> I'm telling you in America, they even call grandpas "Hey John"~ that stuff doesn't matter

- We have honorifics so if we suddenly change into the international age system, then people would suddenly be considered 'same-age friends', and you can't call them the honorific you used to call them
> If we change into the international age system, then that'd relieve a lot of stress on the culture of hierarchy, no? Isn't that desirableㅠㅠ

- I really wish we'd just go with the international age... I hate seeing people have to call someone unnie or oppa just because they've "lived longer" and it's uncomfortable to see those younger than me by only a few months call me "unnie".
> I think I'm taking this too far but if we do change to international age, I bet it'll help get rid of this disciplinary culture we have on seniority 

- Our culture thinks of the baby inside the mother's belly during the 9 months of pregnancy as a person, so while I'd rather we use the international age for formal and legal processes, from a cultural standpoint, it'd be nice to maintain our Korean age system.

- Seriously, we use the international age for legal things anyway;;;; so it's freaking weird

- I don't think we can get rid of it... if we do, honourifics will be totally disrupted... 

- For real, it's like Korea's 'Interstellar'

- Am I the only who likes the system


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