Its Siesta Time!
Siesta, a Spanish word meaning a short nap after eating lunch, is actually an important part of cultures around the world including India. Probably after reading so much about siesta I shouldn’t stop him from taking one.
If you’ve been to Goa you would have noticed the quiet streets and closed shops every day from around noon to 3 or 3.30 pm, depending on the shop owner. Well, that’s their siesta time, where they eat heavy meals, sleep or spend time with their families. The same practice is considered to be ‘sacred’ in Spain and few Latin American countries.
How it all began?
Some believe that the practice of siesta began in the southern region of Alentejo in Portugal where it was called ‘Sesta,’ and then Spaniards adopted this custom and it spread throughout Latin America.
Now countries like Philippines, China, Vietnam, India, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Malta, Venezuela, the Middle East and North Africa also follow the practice of taking an afternoon nap.
If you observe the geographical pattern of these countries, they face sultry heat in the afternoon, so siesta is the ideal way to break from the boiling temperature. So is the case in Venezuela, tourists are advised to shop before 12 noon or after 2 pm, because for two hours there is no one on the street.
Just like in Goa, shops open after lunch at 3 pm in Portugal, while in Spain they open at about 4.30 pm after the long siesta. Ironically, in Spanish cities the traditional practice of siesta is slowly disappearing due to busy work lives. I am really glad that Goa still retains some of its old tradition and customs, even if it means to chill out.
We know how beneficial it is to sleep in the afternoon, it relaxes your body, improves productivity, after all heavy lunch always induces deep sleep. On this note, Happy Siesta!
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