Thursday, 18 March 2010

Random Turkish Fact #13

Nobody knows how old they are.

If you ask someone their age in Turkey, you'll rarely get an answer that doesn't require further explanation. The question "how old are you?" will provoke one or all of the following responses:

1. "I was born in 1960" - leaving you to do the maths.
2. "I've finished 40 and entering 41" - how old are you?
3. "I was born on 5 November but registered on the 5 December" - Sorry, what?

Because of this confusion, Turks speak in birth years - "he's a '73 boy". Though, this still wont indicate the exact age as it doesn't indicate birth month.

I was just sitting at lunch with children who were born in 2000 (yes, I gagged a little too) and they were trying to work out how old they were. 2010 minus 2000 and still sitting there counting on my fingers.

FYI Turkish friends, in the UK we talk about age in terms of completed years. eg a child is considered 1 after it completes its first year on Earth; it's not born aged 1. I, for example, am coming to the end of my 35th year. But, I still say I'm 34 because that's the number of years I've lived. Mind you, can I say I've really lived all those years? Regrets? I think that's for life to decide in time. But I've always smiled from the heart and that's what really counts. I remember my first teacher back in Tolworth Infants................


Unal said...

most of old people were born the 1st January... lol

Jenny said...

Yeah, this way of counting really makes me mad, especially when is made by a doctor... They count by year - so everyone become 1 more year old on 1st of January. My son was born on 1st of Novermber, and the doctor was going to make him totally 1 year old when he was only 2 month old... ridiculous - but tey to say it to the turks...

Anna said...

Any thoughts as to why this is the case?