Take your time – 15 minutes of fame – Nepalese Stretched Time

One thing about Nepal that you probably don’t know is that it has its own time zone. It’s GMT +5:45h and one of two cases in the world where the time zone is not a round hour. Why? Because they can.

In the 1884 it has been agreed on the international convention about time zones that the Greenwich Meridian will be used as zero to other 24 time zones with 15 degrees longitudes. Because Nepal didn’t want to share the same time zone with India and to be taken as a part of their neighbour by the other countries, they have decided to use another meridian than India, which set them 10 minutes ahead. 20 years later, in 1971 India decided to switch their meridian to Hyderabad, which increased the longitude between the time zones by another four degrees. So both countries ended up with 15 minutes difference, although for example Sri Lanka (which is on the same latitude as Nepal) uses the same time zone as India. There are opinions that Nepal should use same time zone as well, but the nationalistic government just doesn’t want to change it. Should they? I don’t think so.

Because it doesn’t really matter which time zone they have, they are always late anyways, and not only by those 15 minutes. When Magda who moved to Maldives told me about the Asian sense of time, I couldn’t truly believe, that the people can be so lax and just come when they want to. But it is true. Nepalese people always have time for everything and because of that they are always late. And then they hurry up, because it’s already late. You can spend hours, and I mean HOURS by waiting for them and when they show up, you have to rush, because there’s no time to loose. Sigh. You won’t also find anywhere in the cities any timetables for buses or anything else. You have just stand there and wait for something to arrive. You can’t really do anything about it, I think it’s just a thing you have to accept.

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