September 20, 2018 2:15 pm
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Man lies on the arrow of a huge clock and trying to stop time. Deadline concept

 

It’s not a wind-up if someone in Rwanda, Africa looks at a clock face reading 7 o’clock and tells you it’s one o’clock.

It’s because speakers of the local language, Kinyarwanda, measure daytime from sunrise, which they call 12 o’clock in the morning, through to sunset, which they call 12 o’clock in the evening.  

This time-keeping system, which is common in East African languages, works because, in countries on or near the equator, sunrise and sunset happen at practically the same time all year round. 

So what we’d call 7am is their 1 o’clock, 8am is their 2 o’clock and so on through to 6pm, their 12 o’clock.  (The same logic applies to the 12 hours of night-time.)

Where things get tricky is that clocks in the country are routinely set to the western idea of time so locals will look at a clock face, do the maths and tell you a completely different time. Strange times indeed! 

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