Perceptions of Time: Differences Across Cultures

white rabbit

One of the biggest differences between the United States and other cultures around the world are perceptions of time. Every culture has a different understanding and value of time. To Americans, “time is money” and we have to “save time” and “not waste time.” We constantly multitask and do everything automatic, instant and drive-thru. Most (not all) other cultures are much more relaxed about their idea of time than we are. This is important to understand, especially when meeting people from other countries and cultures in order to avoid misunderstandings and to better understand how they approach time-related tasks. To help educators become more informed about this topic, I’ve compiled some interesting articles and a short video to contrast how people from different cultural backgrounds perceive time.

Check out these articles:

On Cultural Time – Intercultural Communication

NOBA Time and Culture

How Different Cultures Understand Time



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