It’s a matter of time

Though China stretches almost as far from east to west as Canada does, it’s exactly the same time in every part of the country!

Canada spans six time zones. When it’s 4:00 o’clock on the BC coast, it’s already 8:30 in Newfoundland. China used to have five time zones but the Communist Party established the country’s present time system shortly after it founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Apparently it was supposed to streamline operations and make the country appear more unified.

Personally, I have a problem with this! Dalian is on the east coast where the sun rises earliest. This morning, it came up at 4:36 a.m! I’m not really a morning person but when daylight arrives, I wake up. I’ve done my best to darken our bedroom by taking curtains from the computer room to double the thickness of the ones in the bedroom. It helped a little but not enough and it did nothing to shut out the noise. As soon as it’s light out, vendors begin to set up the morning market below our windows and before long the sound of cars honking and people shouting does away with any chance we might have had of getting a few more moments of sleep.

Of course, the sun also sets earliest here. As Canadians, we’re accustomed to long hours of daylight at this time of year. Back home, the sun isn’t setting until almost 10:00 p.m. but here, it went down at 7:05 this evening.

Apparently China tried Daylight Savings Time from 1986 to 1991 but it was deemed inconvenient and was dropped. Inconvenient for who, I’m not sure. Since the warm weather arrived, we see lots of people out and about enjoying their evenings. Many families from the neighbourhood gather on the plaza in front of the university administration building. Parents and grandparents sit around the perimeter relaxing and visiting while laughing children play. I’m sure that lots of them would happily give up an hour of daylight at 4:30 in the morning in exchange for longer evening light. I know I sure would!


5 thoughts on “It’s a matter of time

  1. That’s crazy…I can’t imagine getting up at 430am every day on purpose…though lately, my insomnia might actually come in handy, lol. So, are work hours the same? I mean, does everyone in China follow the banking 9-5 hours, whether it’s light or not?

    • That’s a good question! I’m not sure what the correct answer is but I do know that university classes begin at 8:00 a.m. and go until 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. with a two hour break from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Apparently a two hour lunch break is quite common.

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