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Millions Are About To Become One Year Younger

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Age is a pretty straightforward thing - you are zero when you are born and every year on that day, you get a year older. However, that isn't the case everywhere. In South Korea, they have a system that gives people their "Korean age." In it, you are one-year-old when you are born and everyone gets a year older on January 1, not their birthday.

Well the country of nearly 52 million people has passed bills to get rid of that system. Seoul's National Assembly approved legislature that now requires the internationally accepted age-counting system for official documents. In a statement, they explained the decision was made to "resolve the social confusion caused by the mixed use of age calculations and the resulting side effects."

It goes into effect in June and at that point, millions of citizens will find themselves one year younger, but some might be two years younger as well.

That's because the "Korean age" is not the only way Koreans decide on age. When it comes to determining if someone can legally drink or smoke, a person is considered zero at birth and gets a year older every January 1. As for medical and legal records though, they go by the worldwide standard for age. To point out how confusing this is, use South Korean singer Psy as an example. The "Gangnam Style" performer was born on December 31, 1977, so he is considered 44 using the international age standard, 45 using the drinking/smoking age system, and 46 under the "Korean age" system.

The Parliament is asking state and local governments to encourage citizens "to use their 'international age.'" They also plan to "conduct necessary promotion for that." It shouldn't be too hard to get South Koreans on board. One tweeted, "I'm getting two years younger – I'm so happy. 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."