A South Korean lawmaker wants to abolish the country's highly unusual age calculation system.
Under the system, babies are already one year old the day they are born, and automatically turn a year older every January 1. That means that children delivered on New Year's Eve are two years old the next day.
Hwang Ju-hong, a member of the country's National Assembly, believes Korean ages are antiquated and inefficient, CNN reported. Earlier this year, he introduced a bill that makes the international way mandatory across all spheres.
"The difference in the age calculation methods used in legal and everyday life had various adverse effects such as: wasting unnecessary administrative costs, creating confusion in information exchange due to its difference with other countries and conflict due to fostering a culture of hierarchy based on age and avoiding certain months for childbirth," his bill said, according to CNN.
The Korean age system can also be hard for parents who have their babies late in the year.
Some worry their children will fall behind other kids born earlier in the year at school because they have the same Korean age, even though they are months apart, according to The Associated Press (AP).
"I thought: 'Ah, right. She's now two years old, though it's been only two hours since she was born. What the heck!'" he told the AP.
It's not clear how the exactly unusual age system came about.
Some believe it has roots in the traditional Chinese numerical system, which starts counting at one instead of zero, according to CNN. Korean culture has been heavily influenced by China for centuries.
South Korea introduced the international age system in the 1960s when Western culture started having a greater influence, the AP reported. But it did not push for the change as hard as other Asian countries did, and people continued using the local system in their everyday lives.
Some South Koreans are happy juggling the dual aging system.
juggle: v. 尽量兼顾
"If we use international age, things could get more complicated because it's a society that cares so much about which year you were born," said Lim Kyoung-jae, the head of a travel agency, told the AP.