26 October 2007

생일 축하 해요!! (to me)

mmm grape juice. (an earlier birthday)

hillary clinton and i share a special day.

today, i'm officially 29! or 31! no, wait, i'm 29 and 30!

yesterday i was 28 back home in america (and in most of the world) and 30 in korea. today is my birthday, so in about 16 hours when, due to time differences, "today" stops being "yesterday" in america, i'll be 29 at home and... still 30 in korea... for about another two months.

hmm...

unlike home where one's age is calculated post-birth, koreans count the 9 months gestating in the womb as year #1. and, instead of advancing a year on your actual birthday, everyone moves ahead 1 year on the gregorian new year (jan 1). since my birthday is late in the year, most of the time i'm considered two years older than my "actual" age.

it took a bit of the "egads, i'm going to be 30 soon!" out of the picture since it was only a flight back in april that turned 28 to 30. since koreans are a pretty age-obsessed lot, everyone asks your age. over the past 6 months i've told so many people that i'm already 30 that realizing today is my 29th birthday seems weird.

this "east asian age reckoning" system, as some call it, is used in various ways in china, japan, korea and vietnam, but it's most common in the daily life of koreans.

2 comments:

Jon said...

happy birthday to scorpiopic mattifer! just talked to jho -- she was drunk and giddy. hope you've had a fittingly debaucherous 29th, 30th, 31st birthday.

btw, a fantabulous korean mama has taken me under her wing in our german classes. her husband's a deutscher. she brings me lunch and i love my life.

happy bday.

matt said...

thanks, lover. everyone deserves an ajumma!

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