today i learned – sun 16th july 2017

back to doing this blog post on time today 👍🏻 which is always good 🙃. anyway, spent the day at the beach today … more specifically, the one where they filmed broadchurch!

whilst that may be, today’s fact has nothing to do with the uk … we’re delving into the wonderful world of korea 😬. this actually came around yesterday whilst watching many kpop videos of goodness with my bestie 🤙🏻 (i looked into it today … so this is totally a thing that i learned today 💁🏼)

#tdil that your age in korea is actually different to your age everywhere else in the world 🤔

so yeah, if you ask a korean mate what their age is, they can give you two different ages: their korean age and their international age.

this different age is actually called ‘nominal age’, ‘lunar age’ or ‘east asian reckoning age’ and it came about a real long time ago … like, many centuries ago.

how does it work? well, when you’re born, you’re instantly a one year old 👶🏻. you then get older every lunar new year’s day and not on your actual birthday. basically, all koreans celebrate their birthday on the same day 🎉🎊. the day is called ‘eumnyeok saeng-il’.

it can have quite an interesting effect at times … think of this (i’m going to use arbitrary dates for ease!): imagine a baby was born on december 31st, they’re instantly one. however, if the lunar new year fell on january 1st, they’d become two the very next day … even though they’ve only been alive for two days!? 😳

but why is this a thing?! what’s the reason?! well, it helps to give a very clear feel for age (which is super important, more on that in a mo) and it emphasises korea’s importance of collectivity.

it’s a pretty massive deal, that collective birthday is. entire families will gather together and spend the day cooking food to be placed on the home’s ancestral table as an offering to the ancestral spirits … this helps bring luck in the new year 👍🏻.

right, back to the age thing – a good understanding of age is imperative in korea as social hierarchy and social relationships in korean culture are based around age. juniors must always treat seniors with respect.

how is the term senior defined? anyone who was born in the lunar year prior to you is your senior.

whilst the collective birthday is super important, people do still celebrate their actual birth date – or yangnyeok saeng-il – … it’s just not totes important 🎂.

that said, certain birthdays – such as the one year birthday and 60th birthday – are seen as important and have big parties associated with them. this is because many people used to die before these birthdays because of lack of medicine and the like.

and there you have it! hopefully i’ve got all of this right! (please correct me if i haven’t).

I’m not sure how i feel about this whole system 🤔 at first, i was all like “yaaaaaaay, community!” but then i started thinking about how i quite like having my own individual birthday … #swingsandroundabouts.

right, that’s going to do me for today! if you have any random facts that you’ve learned or questions you want answering, send em over! 🤙🏻 i love a ‘phone in’ 📞.

ta rahhhh 🤓 #tdil


go on, admit it, that one was pretty cool 😎 … super interesting today! feel like some more? you just need to go ->here<-


(today’s image is just some cake 🍰 because birthday 👍🏻 license is ->here<-)

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