+
upworthy
Race & Ethnicity

South Koreans will soon be the same age as the rest of the world

Their new president is looking to change a long-standing tradition.

South Korea, aging
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Koreans may soon be changing the tradition of how they declare their age.

Can you remember how old you are? As we get older, remembering our actual age can get harder, especially when it begins to take longer and longer to scroll and find your birth year. Now imagine having to keep track of two different ages. For many South Koreans, this is the reality. That's right, based on a tradition that dates back so far no one really knows when it started, most South Koreans are two different ages. But their new president is looking to change the tradition, to make life easier for everyone.



Currently, South Koreans have their "Korean age" and their international age. The "Korean age" is the thing that President Yoon Suk-yeol is looking to change. The way it works is that a person is considered a year old at birth, adding a year every January 1. So if you have a baby born on December 30, on January 1, they're 2 years old, even though they've only been alive two days. The Korean age is mostly used in social situations, while the international age (where you turn 1 on your first birthday) is used for legal purposes.

“If I try to fill out a form at a government office or a foreign embassy, I’m not sure what to put for my age,” Lee Jae-hye, a video producer in Seoul, told The New York Times.

It's worth mentioning there's a third, less common way of defining age: "year age," which is kind of a hybrid of the two other practices. A newborn is considered 0 at birth, but they add the first year on January 1. So again, a December 30 baby would be 2 days old and also 1 year old. This is only used for military service and elementary education. No wonder it's confusing for the citizens.

Lee Yong-ho, chief of the president-elect's transition committee, acknowledged the stress these different ages puts on citizens.

“Due to the different calculations of legal and social age, we have experienced unnecessary social and economic costs from persistent confusion and disputes over calculating age when receiving social, welfare and other administrative services or signing or interpreting various contracts,” he said in a press briefing.

For many South Koreans, keeping track of up to three ages is just too much of a pain. Having to remember the right birth certificate because you use one for the doctor's office but another one for the DMV sounds like a nightmare. While the average person understands what paperwork they need for where, the need alone is a major source of frustration. That's why so many adults are in favor of the president's decision to make the change by the end of the year.

A survey taken this past January shows that 40% of adults believe making the change will "ease conflicts within the country’s social hierarchy." As a hierarchical society, the focus on age and having multiple ages can cause confusion and unnecessary conflict. If you search "Korean age system," you'll discover multiple calculators in case you forget or don't know. Some historians and scholars worry that the change will be a detriment to society, but there's a better chance that younger generations will embrace the universal change to international age.

Double H Canine Academy in Louisville, Kentucky is a place where dog owners can take their rambunctious pets and have them turned into respectable members of the family.

However, as you can tell in this hilarious video, not all dogs are meant to follow orders.

Keep ReadingShow less

Julia Roberts and Emma Roberts

Actress Julia Roberts was late to the game when it came to joining social media, so she was blown away when she finally saw first-hand how toxic it could be. She started an Instagram account in June of 2018 and, shortly after, was the target of trolls mocking her appearance in a post by her niece.

Roberts was upset about the negative comments people made about her looks and then was gutted when she considered social media's effect on young women. In a 2018 interview with Oprah Winfrey for Harper’s Bazaar, Julia recounted the story.

“Although something did happen recently on my niece Emma’s Instagram that I think taught me a lot about what it’s like being a young person in today’s society. One weekend morning Emma slept over, and we got up and were having tea and playing cards and having this beautiful morning, and then a couple of days later, she posted a picture of us,” Roberts recalled.



Keep ReadingShow less
© Jason Moore/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023 and © Tzahi Finkelstein /Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023

The 2023 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, known for being one of the most entertaining photography contests, has just wrapped up, and this year’s top prize goes to Jason Moore for his hilarious and brilliantly captured photo of a kangaroo, cheekily named “Air Guitar Roo.” Not only did this fantastic shot win the overall competition, but it also rocked the Creatures of the Land category, too.

Jason's photo stood out among a whopping 5,300 entries submitted by 1,842 photographers from 85 countries. Moore’s photo of the female western grey kangaroo was taken in the outer suburbs of Perth, Australia when Jason visited a field of wildflowers to snap some pics of the many adult kangaroos and joeys playing there.

“The shoot turned out to be a great session, and I am quite fond of several images that I captured,” Moore said in a statement. “Not many people know that kangaroos are normally fairly docile and even a bit boring most of the time if I’m honest. However, when I saw this roo striking the air guitar pose, it immediately brought a smile to my face, and I knew that I had captured something really special."

Keep ReadingShow less
Representative image from Canva

Because who doesn't want to preserve the natural beauty of a bouquet for as long as possible?

With Valentine’s having just passed, many of us might be looking at beautiful bouquets bestowed by our sweethearts and wondering how to keep them fresh for as long as possible (the flowers, that is, but maybe your beau as well).

If the thought of experimenting with a ton of home remedies found online sounds exhausting, you’re in luck! Someone decided to test a whole handful of them to see which worked best for perfectly preserved petals.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

'Nicest judge in the world' reveals the $300 case that pushed him to rule with compassion

Judge Frank Caprio shares how his father's disappointment in his first judgment "crumbled" him.

StephanieRPereira/Wikimedia Commons

Judge Caprio has become known for his compassion in the courtroom.

Frank Caprio has spent 38 years as a judge, making a name for himself as the chief judge of the municipal court of Providence, Rhode Island and gaining fame as the "nicest judge in the world" for his rulings on the reality show "Caught in Providence."

Caprio's empathy and compassion has shone through in his judgments, as he talked to defendants like real people, getting to know their personal stories and issuing judgments that helped the person get on their feet rather than punishing them for being poor or sick or taking care of their family.

In a video on Instagram, Caprio shared that his compassionate approach stemmed from a case brought before him on his very first day on the bench. When asked if there was a certain case from his years as a judge that he still thinks about today, Caprio shared that there was one case that made him feel "crumbled," and which he still gets upset just thinking about.

Keep ReadingShow less

President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden share how they fell in love.

The creators of Meet Cute NYC took a 230-mile detour down south and stopped by Washington, DC. to get the story of how the President and First Lady met for a special Valentine’s Day post. The result was a lesson in the critical role that persistence can play in bringing people together.

Meet Cute NYC documents “microportraits of modern love” and features its host, Jeremy Bernstein, asking random people the all-important question: “Excuse me, are you two a couple?”

The video opens with Mr. Biden revealing how he met Jill in 1975 after being set up by his brother. The president lost his wife, Neilia, and 1-year-old daughter, Naomi, in a car crash in 1972, leaving him the single father of 2 boys.

Keep ReadingShow less