When people in Austria ask Y how old he is he’ll say he’s 31. When people in South China ask him about his age, he’ll say he’s 32. And when people in Northeast China ask him, he’ll say 33.
So what is true? Does he sometimes lie about his age?
Fact is, he doesn’t. All answers are correct. Let me explain.
For a westerner, Y is 31. We count the age on the exact day of the birthday. Y is 31 and will turn 32 in December.
In most parts of China though, Y is 32. After the Chinese New Year (also called Spring Festival), you add one year to your actual age. What counts is not the exact date of your birthday, but how old you’ll turn this upcoming year.
The same goes for Northeast China and for that matter Korea, just that you’ll add another year. A baby is considered 1 year of age on its day of birth. The 9 months in its mother’s belly count as 1 year.
Confusing? Not anymore!
Have you ever been confused about someone’s actual age? I’d love to read your comments.