Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Indian Standard Time

Many of us know about this phrase "Indian Standard Time" which means late by an hour to any place. Although I was never late for my classes, but for any social event, reaching on time means you are greeted by workers arranging chairs and you have to sit there for long before anyone else will arrive. So when you read similar stories about other nations, how do you react?

Here is a story about Bolivian Time in BBC. It says:

"Bolivians are really irresponsible, there is no culture of punctuality here, they don't arrive on time to work or anywhere else, it seems they don't wear a watch on their wrist,"

"Sometimes my lecturers show up 15 minutes, sometimes half an hour late. And sometimes they don't even show up," one student says.

I generally smile and enjoy them as a tale of natural human behavior. Yes, I think unless you are forced to learn the habit of timeliness (after coming out of India, I am more or less on time everywhere, even for the play-dates of my kids :)), by nature you take things easy and so never on time. At some places, it also becomes the matter of prestige. To show that you are an important person and have tons of special engagements for the day (even if you were sitting in home and looking at the watch continuously waiting to that hour to pass so you can reach), you are supposed to arrive 1-2 hours late.

Since I moved out of India, things became much more simpler. In most cases my guests are on time and if they are late they make sure to call to tell that they are running late. Meetings and other official things are always on dot. I do enjoy this certainties about life, but some time I miss easy going attitude of Indians for time.

What do you think?