Thursday, 26 March 2009

Time - the Concept of the Week

There are a number of concepts to structure our lives in time. The primary structure is the day and night rhythm with the period of darkness followed by a period of light. This is only a rough guide, as the duration of these periods change over the course of one year according to seasons. Along this structure the average day of 24 hours is constructed. This fixed time span is mainly set for calculation purposes and interferes with natural rhythms quite often, e.g. daylight, tide, ... from this day unit the week is extrapolated as a seven day cycle.
The structure of the week is built on work/activity days and days of rest. There has been a strong religious influence on this concept. The day to rest was loaded with religious commitments, but has since, specially in the western culture, faded in importance. The basic weekly structure although remained. Basically the week is divided in two units, the five days of work from Monday to Friday and the weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
In the Christian culture the Sunday, the Lord’s day, is the main day of worship without having to do commercial work. It is the day of rest and socializing with the community. Interestingly, other religions have a different structure. In the Jewish week the day to rest is not the Sunday, it is the Saturday. On Saturdays, the Sabbath, Jews are asked not to do any work, but only save this day for family and community. The Arabic week has the Friday, the day of assembly, as the main day of rest from work. (source wikipedia/sabbath and )
Looking at this simple weekly structure from the UrbanDiary perspective, there must be a an impact on movement dependent on religions. Looking at the three religions Islam, Christianity and Judaism in the London area the different patterns between Friday, Saturday and Sunday could be very interesting to observe closer.

Jewish, There are over 149,000 Jews in London, over half the Jewish population of Britain. (Illustration Chris Tate, taken from

Muslim, There are over 603,000 Muslims in London, two-fifths of the UK Muslim population. (Illustration Chris Tate, taken from

Christian, Over 58 per cent of Londoners say they are Christians (much fewer are practicing).(Illustration Chris Tate, taken from

Hindu, Over 29,000 Hindus live in London, more than half the Hindu population of Britain. (Illustration Chris Tate, taken from

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