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Time talks to us more than we think (Edward T. Hall)




Time is treated differently in different cultures. There are cultures in the world where time is measured by the position of the sun in the sky. The day is conducted according to the laws of nature. The year is set agriculturally.


In Western culture, the clock directs our daily routine. There are cultures that very much depend on the clock, for example Switzerland (it's not for nothing that we use the term "Swiss clock").


There are cultures that are more relaxed in their relationship to time, and thus being late is not perceived as terrible. On the other hand, there are cultures where a small delay may lead to breaking off the relationship (for example arriving late for a job interview... forget the job). It could be interpretated as disrespectful, as in Singapore.

The relationship to time is also expressed in relation to planning: Greek culture, for example, is a culture of the “here and now”. There is little planning. Compared to the Swedish culture which is future oriented. This can be seen in - for example - the Nordic culture through their the education system and small customs such as for every tree that is cut down a new one is planted.


Planning is also expressed in culture. In the United States, the vision is future oriented. The message is, in general, that every person can succeed and it doesn't matter where they come from. There are cultures that give an important place to the past, such as the Jewish or the French culture.


What is the relationship to time in the culture you live in?


Dr. Efrat Tzadik

Personal development and empowerment coach

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