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최종편집 : 2019.5.14 화 09:43
NewsOpinion
Korean Ages Should Disappear
Lee Da-hye  |  ldh991109@cau.ac.kr
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승인 2019.05.08  11:54:49
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
 
"How old are you?" Whenever we are asked this kind of question, we wonder whether we should tell the international age or just the Korean age. Also, we can just say both ages and explain them. There is 'Korean age' in South Korea, which does not exist in any other country. For Korean age, eating tteokguk(rice cake soup) at the turn of every new year means getting one year older. However, there have been some complaints about ‘Korean age’ on the national petition site of the Blue House. ‘Korean age’, which only causes confusion, must be abolished.
First, Korean age causes confusion among people. Currently, Korea socially uses 'Korean age', but the public sector is supposed to use international age. For example, if you go to a hospital, a pharmacy, or a nearby office, we can see our international age marked on every document. The same is true of the media. The age shown in news articles should also be the international one. On the other hand, the fact that people use Korean age in their daily lives causes confusion. How complex is it that there is an age gap between everyday life and the public sector? Second, Korea should follow the trend of the world. Korean age, which increases by one year each year, is a system which is only valid in Korea. This age was used by several countries, including China and Japan, but as time went by, every country except Korea changed to the use of international age. Therefore, this age calculation method is only left in Korea. However, we cannot tell foreigners about our age forever and then have to explain what Korean age is. Although we call South Korea a globalized society, it seems difficult to leap into an era of true internationalization if there is a difference in the most basic factor, age. Third, Korean age should be abolished in order to eliminate the culture of ranking according to age. It is also a Korean tradition to call people born in earlier years by the names of 'Onnie or Nuna (for older female)' and 'Oppa or Hyung (for older male)'. This can be packaged as a good cultural practice to respect one's elders, but I do not think it means much to respect a person who was born months earlier or even days earlier. The abolition of Korean age seems urgent, since vicious things are occurring such as disrespecting those who are one or two years younger. It is most desirable to use international age to create a respect culture for all people of one's age.

Korea also needs to walk in line with the world's trends as soon as possible. It is necessary to start by unifying the age calculation which seems the most basic, and not just say that it is the era of globalization. I believe that the abolition of Korean age can cause some confusion to people in the beginning, but when we look farther, it will surely provide convenience and create a culture of greater respect for one another. 

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