It’s about Time

Early morning here.  Plans are made for the day which will have me cleaning out the old and bringing in the new with a new concoction for black-eyed pea soup. As usual, my day begins on the Internet while catching morning news shows. I’m realizing that if I were still in Taiwan, the New Year would be just a couple of hours away. And, I’m also remembering that although there is a spectacular fireworks show from 101 in Taipei, the real New Year’s Celebration is in January when the Chinese celebrate New Year. Making things even trickier, was the fact that many who live there still follow a lunar calendar. The current year is 98 and the date would be written 98/12/31.

Saudi Arabia also uses a lunar calendar and the year is 1431AH. The Islamic (hijri) calendar was set forth in the Koran. The weekend is on Thursday and Friday!

These are not the only places with a calendar different from ours, they are just the ones I know best. There are others.Before Saudi Arabia,  I hadn’t really realized that the way we divide time is a function of religion. I mean, why would a country where people don’t celebrate Jesus as The Son of God begin a calendar on the year they assume he lived? Then, you begin to realize how arbitrary calendars are when none of them actually begin from Earth Day One. They start on an event that defines that culture.  By the way, who changed the calendar in the year 93AH? Or what if the Calendar Keepers had their nose stuck to the grindstone in 141AD and forgot to change the page? Who would have known?? Remember that song, “Does anybody know what time it is? Does anybody care?” Time begins to look like Carleen’s river, fluid, rapid difficult to grab and impossible to hold. (I can’t get that post out of my head!)

You begin to see that having CNN look at New Years around the world is much like teaching  Christmas around the world: it’s imposing one’s culture on others.

Whether you’re moving on to a New Year or a New Day, here’s wishing you the most peaceful of days!