On Calendars and Cultures

This week was my Hebrew birthday. And next week, my Gregorian birthday falls on the very same day of the week. My friend Michal said this means I have an excuse to have a full week of celebrations! 🙂

Perhaps you don’t know about how another calendar could work. I had to explain to a friend recently why my Hebrew birthday would not fall on the same day of our calendar (the Gregorian calendar) every year. The Hebrew calender, for example, is a lunar calendar, and each month starts with a new moon. And if you look at our calendar, even though a month is supposed to coincide with the cycles of the moon (each one is a ‘moonth‘), the new moon comes at different times in the different months. So, it makes sense that the two calendars would be out of sync.

I find that those cultures that have their own separate calendars (that still exist now) tend to have their own language(s) unique to them. There’s the Hebrew calendar, the Islamic calendar, the Chinese calendar… There’s an entire list on Wikipedia.

Having a language unique to your culture helps a society to protect that culture from being overtaken by outside influences. That’s why Deaf culture exists and can be so different from hearing culture, even though it physically exists within and alongside hearing culture. That’s my theory anyway. There are other factors, of course, like religion. (After a centuries-long coma, Hebrew as a language has only been use as a native language since late 1800s.)

Anyway, happy birthweek to me! 😀

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One Response to On Calendars and Cultures

  1. read.robin says:

    Is moonth really a thing?

    I agree – language definitely has a protective role in maintaining cultures. In today’s global society it seems like the last refuge of cultures outside the mainstream.


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