Posts Tagged ‘Nepal’


Party Like it’s 2065

April 14, 2009

I’m back in India now, here for the final leg of this trip.  Our time in Nepal was really cool, but also very brief.

While we were in Kathmandu, having tea and reading books, someone handed us a flyer.  It was an invitation to a party that a bar was holding for the Nepalese New Year.  2066!  I laughed and kept the flyer, but didn’t go to the party.

I wonder what it is about Nepal that puts them not only 15 minutes in their own time zone, but also 57 years into the future?

I’ve done a bit of research, and here’s what I’ve found. (from Wikipedia)

Bikram Samwat (Bikram Sambat, or Vikram Samvat, Devnagari:विक्रम संवत, abbreviated “B.S.”) is the calendar established by Indian emperor Vikramaditya. It is a popularly used calendar in India and the official calendar of Nepal

So it’s a calendar that was set up by someone before the Gregorian calendar came to be.  More from Wikipedia:

The Vikrama Samvat was founded by the Tuar Rajput emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain[1] following his victory over the Sakas in 56 BCE, although it is popularly (and incorrectly) associated with the subsequent king Chandragupta Vikramaditya. It is a lunar calendar based on ancient Hindu tradition (see Hindu calendar and Vedic time keeping). The Bikram Sambat calendar is 56.7 years ahead (in count) of the solar Gregorian calendar.

That’s great.

What gets me the most is that this calendar is still in use.  It seems that the calendar year is the exact same length as the Gregorian calendar, meaning 12 months, 365 days, etc.  As cool as it is to be different – and sure this calendar got here first – is it really necessary to continue to adhere to this method of telling time?  It’s not like there’s still major (or any) contention over which calendar is going to win Homecoming Queen.

The way this calendar tells time is slightly different than the way we tell time.  For example, the basic unit of temporal measurement (a paramanu) is based on the normal interval of human blinking.  About 4 seconds.  It’s also worth pointing out that their days vary in length.  It seems as though the days (defined by sunrise to sunrise) can last from 19 to 26 hours.  From what I understand, it is this fluidity that allows the Bikram Sambat year to run the same length as the Gregorian year. That’s why the Nepal calendar is consistantly 56.7 years ahead of the calendar I know.


Another 15 Minutes into the future

April 12, 2009

So Nepal is, for reasons beyond my vast vast vast range of knowledge, 15 minutes ahead of India, in terms of time zones. This puts Kathmandu a very specific 9 hours and 45 minutes ahead of the good old Eastern Standard Tribe. Before this trip, I had no idea there were such specific differences in time while roaming in the Eastern Hemisphere. Alas poor South Asia, I barely knew thee…

Power outages are another thing here. There’s a rad sign in our hostel that tells us power will (must?) be out for approx 16 hours a day because otherwise shit will hit the fan. It doesn’t say that exactly, but yeah. You dig.

Unrelated to my Eastern travels, I seem to be unloading extra slang lately. I couldn’t tell you why I am doing this, or where all this sudden bad assery is coming from.

Alrght, that’s all I’ve got this time.