Changing concepts of time

Occasionally we can still get a glimpse of the radical difference between modern and pre-modern concepts of time. A significant number of Marshall Islanders have migrated to the U.S. According to a recent story in the NY Times (july 4): “They puzzle over the American obsession with time…” The principal of an Arkansas school where 30% of the studenst are Marshallese “started giving alarm clocks to parents as presents.” An advococy group, backed by the Seventh-day Adventists, organizes weekly supper but turnout is often low. One of the organizers said the turnout was disappointing but he was pleased with the punctuality: “We’re trying to get people to practice being on time.”

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