Happy Shortest Day of the Year

Ah, solstice. Every year I enjoy this day, because it doesn’t get any shorter than this right here!

Interesting to me, and maybe less so for you, is the difference between America and Armenia as far as daylight goes. Check it out:

As you can see, Armenia gets light almost an hour later. And it gets dark nearly an hour later. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but when it’s 8:00 a.m. and it’s still dark outside, you feel it. The getting dark at 5:30 thing, I could get used to that in the U.S. But do note that our days are like 9 minutes shorter than yours.

So yeah, daylight is basically shifted an hour later over here. So what? Well let me tell you. The culture of time in Armenia is much different. The world doesn’t wake up until 8:30 or 9:00. And things don’t really get going until 10:00. You can walk down to grab the first marshrutka to Yerevan at 8:30 and the place is a ghost town. It’s such an odd thing when you think about the traffic you can see on the interstate back home at 6:45 a.m.

Also, the opposite applies. People go to bed pretty late here. During the summer, it’s definitely later, but even now a bedtime of 11 or 12 is very normal. My tatik is often still up at midnight watching TV, or at least trying to (cataracts be damned).

So I guess my message here is a simple one: your daily routine is individual, yes, but also heavily influenced by your culture. It may not feel like culture (“I decide when I wake up, Kevin,” you might be thinking), but it is! Culture determines when the typical job starts, or when school begins, which impacts when you have to wake up. It’s a small piece to the puzzle called “Why Things are the Way they are in Your Neck of the Woods”. Cool huh? Or maybe I’ve just spent too much time thinking about time…the last 2 day’s trainings were on time management. I digress – more soon.

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2 Responses to “Happy Shortest Day of the Year”

  1. Kelsey Says:

    I live an Armenian lifestyle in terms of sleeping and waking hours 🙂 benefits of having a random and later-starting work schedule! Missin you back home. No one has fallen in the pond this trip so nothing super exciting… Although a couple things at church made me think of you and giggle at inappropriate times. Which makes me giggle now thinking about it…

  2. icenugget Says:

    It’s kind of nice – the later schedule. There always seems to be something funny during the service. The best used to be when Mom was forced to go to church with me during confirmation. I could get her laughing so loud at the goofiest stuff!

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