Telling the time + ginger hair

samfloy~23 June 2018 /East Africa/East Africa Culture

A couple of days ago was the summer solstice, which means for everyone in the northern hemisphere the nights are now drawing in until Christmas.

It does, however, still mean that it gets dark very late – I walked the dog yesterday and it was still bright gone at 9:30 pm.

This concept feels alien when in East Africa.

Being on the equator means there’s hardly any variation in when the sun rises and sets throughout the year.

One notable cultural consequence of this is: telling the time.

In a world where every day the sun is up at 6 am, this becomes the stopwatch by which you start your day. The hours of the day are counted from sunrise.

Speaking to people in Kenya, I’ll often detect a self-correction of when we’ll meet, saying “let’s go for lunch at 7” (1 pm) or “I’ll come around for breakfast at 2” (8 am).

Such a timekeeping practice would not be possible anywhere else but the ribbon of equatorial countries, which makes me wonder if others in South America etc have a similar practice..?

There’s also a whole raft of research/ theories around how climate dictates how cultures around the world were borne, but we’ll save that for another time.


In other news…

Last Sunday I was very fortunate to get tickets to go see Ed Sheeran at Wembley. He was a great performer, very endearing with the audience, all with just him and his guitar.

Strange as this sounds, my friend Holden and I also noticed what seemed to be a disproportionate number of ginger people in the crowd (for those unaware, ES is somewhat of a ginger poster boy).

It got me thinking if there was a way to test this hypothesis: do Ed Sheeran concerts have an above-average number of attendees with ginger hair?

Hair colour isn’t (yet) captured upon buying concert tickets, but maybe a combination of aerial concert crowd shots and colour recognition image software could provide an answer…

If you have any thoughts on the matter, do let me know(!)


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