Concepts of time in Nepal

The essay “The Anthropology of Manners” written by Edward T. Hall associates the ideas of time and proximity as cultural aspects and shows how these ideas vary with respect to different cultures and societies. While reading the essay, I came to know about the perceptions of time and space according to people of different cultures and countries, which engrossed me to share some of the concepts particularly about time in Nepal.

Whenever we talk about being punctual or present on the required time, we relate this idea with one’s culture. However, it is not always about culture; it is also about the current situations and advancements of a particular place. This idea explicitly relates with the perception of time in Nepal. Since Nepal is not well-developed in infrastructures and lacks political stability, it is difficult for people to be on time everywhere. Therefore, time is flexible in Nepal in comparison to other developed and rich nations, where every single minute is taken seriously and being five minutes late becomes a crucial matter. In Nepal, if a person fails to come within five to fifteen minutes, she or he is not considered strictly late, and their excuses of heavy traffics and strikes will be taken into consideration. People travel by local motors or walk on foot to reach their destinations, and strikes and problems of load shedding (blackouts) are becoming common, so being fifteen minutes late is not a big issue in Nepal.

Moreover, being late or early depends upon the position you are in. Similar to what Hall describes in the essay, in Nepal also, one should not keep his or her boss or a celebrity waiting because this becomes a matter of disrespect and insincerity. On the other hand, it is normal to wait for a boss or leader for long hours to meet them.

According to religious point of view, time is taken very seriously in Nepal. Since most of the Nepalese are religious-minded, they are strict on performing the religious rituals on required time. In most of the ceremonies such as marriage, puja, and other rituals, priests assign a specific time period to commence the rituals, which is believed to be lucky and fruitful for the individuals and families. If they fail to perform the ceremony on time, it would be a bad luck for them. Hence, time is a valuable aspect in terms of religion.

Moreover, time is also taken strictly in schools and private offices. Students are required to attend their schools and colleges on time. If they are late, they are likely to be punished or detained for their classes. In addition, important business deals and meetings are supposed to be done on time, so business personnel should be punctual.

Thus, these were some ideas about time in Nepal.

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One Response to Concepts of time in Nepal

  1. phamtram says:

    Hey,
    I wonder if you ever feel unpleasant when you have to be on time because maybe you are used to being late one or two minutes. If the answer is “no,” congrate!!! If the answer is “yes,” I hope that you will adapt to this habbit soon.

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