Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daylight Savings Time....In Zimbabwe?

Early this morning in America, our clocks go forward 1hr as part of Daylight Savings Time. This act got me thinking about my native Zimbabwe, and the fact of how few things are actually "Universal", but are in fact specific to a certain country/region or are specific to a certain generation/time period. If I was go to my beloved native region of Chikomba, in Zimbabwe, and announce to an audience of wisened, old villagers that the clocks had been moved forward by an hour, I would probably be accused of sorcery. Such is the cultural disconnect between my beloved Chikomba and Northern California's Bay Area, the American region I reside in.

The wisened, old villagers of Chikomba, would probably enquire as to "who gave me the right, the wherewithal, to take it upon myself to dictate the change-of-time to them". That our so-called "Daylight savings Time" is meant to increase our productivity here in America, will be lost on the wisened, old villagers of Chikomba. There, time is "elastic" and the rhythms and cadence of village life are punctuated by the agricultural seasons, deaths, births and marriages, rather than by the hourly rituals of economic survival, as it is in most American cities. Some things, in fact most things, cannot be transported out of their cultural environment. Nevertheless, life goes on for the wisened, old villagers of Chikomba, getting on in their lives in that indomitable way that African villagers approach life.

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