The Concept of a Weekend Does Not Exist in India

The Concept of a Weekend Does Not Exist in India

When I first came to India, I said naive things to DN, such as:

“Yes, the weekend is here!” or, “It’s Saturday, why are you asking me to wake up at 7 AM?” or, “It’s Sunday. It’s the weekend. Why are you working? Let’s go out!”

Finally, he got tired of hearing me say these things and said, “What are you talking about? So what if it’s the weekend? We still have things to do.”

You see, the weekend, in America, means no school, no work. Well, there are some jobs that require you to work weekends. But normal business hours are 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. (9-5, M-F)
This gives people a sense of freedom, and the opportunity to spend Friday night through Sunday night doing anything that makes them feel good. Whether it’s Netflix binging or going out with your friends.

Everyone who doesn’t work weekends knows the beauty of sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday, and there are those who even take Sunday to do nothing but rest! (Super religious people might do this, as God declared the 7th day, Sunday, as the “day of rest.”)

This concept, however, does not exist in India.

You will never hear an Indian say “Thank God its Friday!” or “I can’t wait for this weekend…” Why?

Because in India, work still goes on, on Saturday. While Sunday is typically a non-working day, there is no concept of relaxing or sleeping in. Housewives still do their housewife hustle. (No day off for housewives.) You can imagine how that must feel for the wife of a freelancer, who does not have restrictions such as a “non-working day”.

Lately, I have had to convince my husband that taking a day off is mandatory, and finding balance between work and rest or play is also mandatory. We are working on balance. So far, he is receiving it well.

This Sunday was spent laughing, bickering, eating good food, and relaxing together. While I may never see my weekends again, let alone sleep in, at least I have managed to enforce a day off on Sunday.

Featured image by Pondskipper via Flickr.com
If the featured image entices you to go out for coffee this weekend, forget it! This is India – no weekends for you. 🙂

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16 thoughts on “The Concept of a Weekend Does Not Exist in India

  1. Ohhh. I guess it makes sense, but, from one American to another, that would be a serious adjustment. Family time is spent on the weekend. Things that we couldn’t fit into out busy M-F is done on the weekend. Sometimes it’s Spring cleaning, or a day of staying in our pajamas, drinking herbal tea, and reading a good book. ‘The Weekend’ is valuable, and I rather like it. Yes, I think I’ll keep it. — Here’s to your Sundays! Your one day of rest! May it always nourish and refresh you! Never give it up. 🙂

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  2. This no weekend thing is something that totally puzzles my family. They still keep asking about my weekend plans. What plans? DH works Saturdays now, and we still have the grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, and Ishita’s gymnastic classes.
    Sleeping in, that I still did until I gave birth to Ishita, I haven’t slept in in 6 years now. We also keep meal time relaxed on weekends. There is some take out very often, because the little non work related time we have each week is way to sacred and precious for me to sweat in the kitchen.

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  3. I must consider myself lucky. My weekends are still nice. Husband hardly ever works in saturdays. And so, often we go out of delhi or just have some outings in Delhi late night places (haus khaz etc). Weekends are must with us 🙂 as well weekday evenings we try to do smth together. And sure i want him to have “his” relax time without me as i need at times my time without him :).

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    1. Oh haha that is fantastic! My husband is not a party kind of guy, and the one time we wandered in to Haus Khaz by accident, he was terrified! lol
      Everyone kept approaching me about “free shots” at this bar or that bar ahaha 😀
      These days, a trip to CP just to stare at the flag would be fun for me. 😀 Sad, right?

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  4. I think the concept of weekends never existed in India simply because Indians did not have social life, the kind of social life we associated with Americans. I mean no “Me time”. Social life meant social obligations. The concept of fun was never there. Lot of social life in American revolves around sports, dating and other such stuff. This was never the case with Indians because our preference for academics over sports, in fact there is a famous saying in hindi “if you study, you become king, and if you play you are spoilt”, and conservative society meant little or no interaction with the opposite sex. Children were considered as extensions of the families so very little by way of social life for them. Till recently they did not have separate rooms. They slept in the same bed as their parents and kept their stuff in their cupboards. Travel was to go to relative’s home or pilgrimage.

    When we were introduced to the complicated and often hilarious love lives of american teenagers vie hollywood and tv, we were enchanted. No bags, no uniform, cool lockers to keep stuff in school. The school was for dating and football. Wait, schools are about academics isn’t it?? One thought did cross our mind “with such complicated love lives, do they get time to study??”. Cool parents who play baseball with their children and children joke with them. How surreal. Those who study are ofcourse nerds and unwanted, surprise surprise. Beautiful cheerleaders and hunky football players. For some time atleast many Indians did believe that American schools are like heaven. Lucky Americans, no body pushing them to get higher grades and what’s more even teachers are cool. Hollywood did oversell everything.

    Compared to this an Indian teenager’s life seemed to be black and white TV and the american teenager life was like LCD TV.

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    1. We do all those fun things and enjoy sports, and somehow, America still managed to create NASA, go to the moon, and build one of the best academic systems the world has ever known.

      Maybe some weekends would have benefited you.

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  5. It’s really good to hear there is a concept of weekends in the States which actually means you can sleep till late morning… I am surprised to know the working hours are just 9 to 5, monday to friday… never imagines, the life there would be so relaxed..I mean, in India its common to work for at least a minimum of 10 hrs a day in the office.. I worked on alternate Sundays too..

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