Sunday, 18 December 2016

forty-winks o siestario

Demonstrated health benefits aside (provided that one’s work and life framework can support it), the Spanish government is considering labour-reforms that may curtail the tradition of the siesta. Interestingly, as ingrained as it seems in Spanish lifestyle and it is common-place across the Mediterranean as a way to avoid working through the hottest part of the day, the connotation of the prolonged afternoon nap with that country probably has more to do with advertised or perceived business-hours than cultural prevalence, the extended lunch and workday being formally instituted in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, when it was necessary for everyone to hold multiple jobs to make ends meet.
As there was little in the way of public transport, workers were granted a two or three hour break to make it to their second job and to work a full-shift, hours extended until late in the evening. The situation was exacerbated when Spain’s time zone was aligned with Berlin—out of solidarity with Nazi Germany though geographically much closer to London. As economic conditions gradually improved, this work-schedule took on the reputation of labourers being able to sneak home for a nice long and refreshing nap and worked until later in the night. The reality, however, sociologists believe is that the siesta-ideal is far from practical and is exacting too high a toll on workers and their families. The Spanish word for the concept of a power nap is siesta poderosa. In reality, few live close enough to their workplaces to consistently get away and take advantage of siesta-time and it causes havoc for your children and parents—rarely being able to settle down and turn in until after midnight. What do you think? Compared to counterparts in other European countries, Spaniards are just returning from lunch as others are getting ready to go home for the day, and for more and more something to be envious of. Alternatively, we could all institute a culture of napping and be a bit more flexible with what we think of as an honest day.