Saturday, March 10, 2007

Punctuality and Nationality

Its not easy to generalize about any behavioural habits pertaining to any specific nationality. One would have to have similar set of situation and circumstances and then measure the response of various individuals. Again sample size should be big enough to come to any meaningful conclusion.

I had the opportunity to observe the punctuality pattern while I was in Oman for almost five years. I would pick up my visitors from Muscat Intercontinental. General response and action of various nationalities would be as follows :

India : Let us meet around ‘twelwish ‘ meaning around 12’. This is IST – supposedly Indian standard time but I call it Indian Stretchable time.

UK : Okay let us meet at 12 pm, give me a call when you are in the lobby. So he would be all ready in his room and as soon as I would give a call, he would reach within few minutes.

German : He would wait in the lobby on a sofa facing the main door, as soon he would see me usher in, he would join me.

Japan : He would stand outside the hotel porch so that I don’t need to park my car and save precious time.

Needless to say, I always get impressed by Japanese. I think Japanese provide a benchmark for punctuality alongwith Germans.

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Anonymous Zai said...

Interesting thought. Though I have lived in Indonesia and the US and no racial group/country etc can claim the rights to impunctuality. Some times, societal norms make it more acceptable to be late. Whereas in countries like Japan, being late is considered tardy and ill-disciplined. When in Rome, do what the Romans do is my principle! I sure couldn't debate with the drivers in Indonesia who say "It is here only" when it could take 45 mins! Zai

5:25 PM  
Blogger Mig said...

OK, this is really funny, especially that part anout Japanese people! I had no idea.
But: I live in Germany. They are far from being punctual. At least the ones I know. They always make me wait and I hate waiting.
Maybe they lost this good habit?

10:26 PM  
Blogger Sindhu said...

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10:42 PM  
Anonymous Katie M. said...

Very interesting post! Funny how everyone is different! Being from the US, how do you think we tie in with your observations?

10:30 AM  
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2:20 PM  

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