South Koreans Just Became a Year or Two Younger

All South Koreans instantly became a year or two younger on Wednesday, when the country ditched its traditional system for counting someone’s age and replaced it with the internationally accepted method. Under the previous system, the citizens were deemed to be a year old when they were born, and a year was added every January 1st. The unusual custom meant that a baby born on New Year’s Eve would become two years old as soon as the clock struck midnight. Under the revisions introduced this week, ages will be calculated in the same way as the rest of the world. The national assembly said the new system will resolve the social confusion caused by the mixed use of age calculations and the resulting effects. While some people are expected to continue using the traditional method in informal settings, 86% of South Koreans said they would adopt the new system in their everyday lives. However, the change won’t suddenly deprive people of the right to legally buy cigarettes or alcohol, or change the year in which they enter compulsory education or become eligible for the military.