Depending on where you are, time can either be money, a near-religion or something to ignore. In the first of two articles, Richard D Lewis explores the different cultural attitudes to time.
Time is thought to be universal and non-negotiable. While for the most part true, the world views held by different cultures mean that time can be subject to strikingly different notions. Eastern and western cultures view time in almost opposite ways. Even within these groupings, attitudes can vary widely. In the West, for example, two adjacent countries - the US and Mexico - use time in such opposite ways that it is often the cause of friction between them. Similarly, in Europe, the Swiss attitude to time bears little relation to that of neighbouring Italy.