Eating Times

As I called a programmer the other day to fix the machine at work, I got a response from him that felt quite vague. He said he'd call me back after supper. I answered that it was alright with me and that I would wait his call.

No wait! Why did I do that? Who am I to know when this man would eat? This guy could eat from 4pm until 9pm for all I know. I naturally assumed 7pm would be the optimal call back time. Why think that way? Thinking of it now, I'm not sure.

Growing up, I always thought that the average supper time was 6pm. So I always made the assumption as I grew older that people generally ate around that time. When I asked someone about the technician calling me back after supper, the person answered with a question: "What nationality is the technician?". The question was a surprise but sounded like an intelligent one. The technician is French-Canadian (Quebecois for the sensitive). The person then said "Oh, so he should be done eating by now, Quebecois eat around 5pm".

5pm? Way lower then what I was expecting, but it is a good remark. As a child, 5:30pm was the time at which we use to eat. When I went to my friend's house, if they were French-Canadian as well, that was the time at which we ate.

But hold on, if there is a cultural correlation, then why stop there? Friends of mine are Jewish Persian, they eat around 9pm. Others I know from different cultures eat earlier. What does that tell me culturally about each one? Does it mean anything at all?

Is there a correlation between eating times and some other social part of our culture? I remember often hearing that people were finished eating "just in time for the news" which are shown here at 6pm. Does this mean anything?


At 7/7/07 10:05 PM, Blogger Portelance said...

This is interesting, but I don't think there's a correlation.... at least I haven't observed one. I'm always entertained at the fact that my grandmother mentions how they eat supper at 8pm or so because they have all the time in the world... they are not fixed around a schedule.

As for myself, 6pm or so was always the key time when I was growing up. When I would be outside playing on the street with friends, I knew that I should always be home for 6pm. As I've grown older, time seems to be less of a factor. Eating seems to be scheduled around convenience instead of time. What is best considering everyone's work schedules? Will everyone be home this evening? Who will be out? etc.


Post a Comment

<< Home