Saturday, 15 September 2012

Thoughts on the concept of 'weekend'



I can bet that the early man had no concept of weekday and weekend. I reckon that it's a fairly recent phenomenon. Even when I was a student at school and college, there was nothing like a 'weekend.' My guess is that the trend of the weekend was largely made popular by the American working ethics where five days are devoted to only work and a two day break which is usually a Saturday and Sunday. I can even go ahead and say that Sunday was the usual day of rest or Sabbath as it says in the Bible and the western system being Christian added a Saturday to the Sunday and christened it as the 'weekend.' With the onslaught of MNCs in India, everyone has adapted to the concept of the weekend rather effortlessly.

Now, what surprises me is that the weekday/weekend concept seems appropriate for people who work and   require respite from their work, hence a two day break to cool their heels. But every age bracket seems to have appropriated the 'weekend' phrase that the word has become pretty ubiquitous. Once Thursday dawns, the familiar, 'So, what plans for the weekend' starts making the rounds not only in offices but even schools, colleges, universities, supermarkets and other places. What is amusing is that even students in the hostel await their weekends as if they have slogged their a#$% off in the week. I understand that students also work hard but their work and the work done by a professional are quite different. The student has nothing else but studies peppered along with some love stories, games and hobbies. This student who has not a care in the world looks forward to the weekend! Ha.



Every Facebook page that carries adverts starts the 'Weekend is here, what are your plans' slogan and one is rather stifled as to what to do with the weekend. For some, like me, who never really differentiated the weekday and weekend, messages which end with 'weekend' are viewed quite suspiciously. Yesterday atleast three individuals wished me "Have a happy weekend" or "What plans for the weekend?" as if the weekend is what I have been waiting for. Maybe weekends do matter to hard-working individuals who look forward to the Saturdays and Sundays, but not me! The weekend concept has become so very compulsory that some poor individuals who work on a Saturday and Sunday are made to look very very sorry since they literally 'don't have the weekend!' Now, how can anyone not have the weekend! Funny, right. A weekend is common for everyone but not working in the weekends is not common for everyone. The so-called weekend people seem to possess a frenzy of somehow making the weekend interesting. If anyone says, 'I will remain home and enjoy some rest and television,' the weekend (not to be confused with weakened) person says, 'Why are you wasting your weekend?' as if the weekend is a commodity! Duh. One looks forward to the weekend but when finally the week actually ends, there is the question of not wasting it!

Sometimes, I have also wished my friends and readers a happy weekend but hence forth, I would rather say, Enjoy your day. 

So, dear reader, are your weekends 'happy and not wasted?' How do you view this concept of weekends?

Image 1: Internet
Image 2: Internet

36 comments:

  1. Lovely! I am appaled at the idea of the school kids (my very own cousins) having 'the weekend' of the life. But there, I am called old school and thats that! :)

    But no complaints, as even I do have the weekend concept, the Saturday sleep, Sunday biryani things but I "waste them out" largely - sleeping. Weekends are supposed to be the battery charge device for the otherwise mundane worker bee life I have! :)

    Do stop by my blog!! I'd love your visits & comments! - Kappu

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    1. Wohooo, all kids are the same, na but what to do they are quite burdened in the weekend with all those tests and exams. Our school days were the best.

      Of course, weekends are for recharging and getting ready for the next week.

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  2. this is the first time in 8 years i actually get a weekend...so i am enjoying it ha....it is a great time to relax and love on my family

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    1. Hope you had a blast doing what you liked with those you love.

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  3. Interesting approach. I agree that the weekend concept is largely Western. We didn't have a two-day holiday at the end of each week here until about 2005. Only Sunday was a day off and everyone put aside any plans they had to relax in their beds on that holy day. It's much different now. We have gone more "American" as well. I'm still the same, though. I don't make plans for my weekends. I just relax beside my laptop or a book. That's a happy weekend for me, not one spent outside all the time.

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    1. Great to see you here, Dave. Where are you from? Definitely not the US, I reckon. Relaxing beside the laptop sounds great. Hope you had a splendid weekend!

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  4. I use the two days away from the day job to write. It's not as if 'I am off', but being free from having to get up drink beauty juice and head into the office is a relief. I start the days slowly. A cup of coffee in hand I think of the first line of a new story or the next line of something in motion.

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    1. I guess the word "slow" is the key word when it comes to weekends. Other days are rushed and hurried unlike the weekends where one can regulate one's time and energy.

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  5. Spot in...for someone like me who works all day saturday and half day sunday (mostly) the american/software concept of weekend does not actually apply...i take my pleasures when i can, where i can...its only when i do any group thing turns up that i have to think about taking leave on a saturday or a sunday...

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    1. And you know very well how and where to "take your pleasures" dear Doktor. I so admire your manthra of life. You keep us in splits always :)

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  6. Haha great post!!! Yeah, I like weekends, but I think people should learn to enjoy everyday as much as possible!))

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    1. How nice to see you. Hope you are well and happy.

      Every day has its own worth.

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  7. I must confess, when I worked, I loved the weekend, which allowed me to sleep later, and enjoy some leisure. Now, I'm retired so every day is filled with some leisure. But I love your thoughts, because ideally, we should love what we do and therefore not look forward to not working. And, you're right I hope we all have good days - weekends or not.

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    1. Ah, Myrna everyone likes the weekends and people just wait for it to come. I can realise how happy and relaxed you must be feeling now.

      Hope you are doing well and happy.

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  8. when i was working, weekends was a time to rejuvenate and destress, seriously. now that I am not - weekdays are the time to relax - weekends are spent in heavy duty shopping and running errands :)

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    1. And, why don't you do shopping in the weekdays? I'm confused now.

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  9. Oh I hate that question, Susan : What are you plans for the weekend? And some people feel to pressured to say they did wonderfully exciting things. Mine usually consists of going to Church, having a good Sunday lunch, reading, blogging, relaxing.

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    1. Ah, dear kindred spirit, another point of connection here. And like you, even my weekend is relaxed and happy.

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  10. I would not comment on anyone's concept of weekends , but mine is pretty simple EAT-DRINK- be MERRY :)

    so I do all that on the weekend and I love it

    Bikram's

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    1. I hope you ate and made merry in the weekend, Bikram. And is it at home or outside?

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  11. Hi Susan:
    EVERY job I've EVER had has required at LEAST on weekend day of service. I typically work EVERY Saturday now and usually one Sunday a month. I DO have EVERY Monday off so I MOST weeks I get a two day weekend Sunday and Monday. I like having one of my off days being a weekday as I can do things on a weekday that I typically can't on a weekend day. So it's a good thing.
    --
    Chris

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    1. Your concept sounds very interesting and unique, Chris. And for someone who works in a library, there's no need for a weekend!

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  12. Hi Susan,

    I, for one, literally thrive on the existence of 'weekends'. But I think looking forward to the weekend is not something to do with doing hard work through the week. It is really not about work at all. It is about structure. Every institution imposes structure on us - I need to wake up at 8, catch the bus at 8.30, commute for an hour on the same route I see every other day, go to the same place, sit on the same chair, stay in the same room for 8 hours... you get the point right? It is a caged existence. However, weekend gives one the change to break this structure - disobey time and not follow one scheme of order. And I think that is a true cause for celebration - which is why even students relish the weekend.

    As for people expecting us to really do 'something' over the weekend, as 'opposed' to sitting and relaxing in front of the TV, well, I agree - it does not make sense. There is nothing called ' wasting ' the weekend. However, here that we have the time and space to do what we want, why not do something that exposes us to new people and new experience? Surely, it should be a good motivation once in a while.

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    1. Loved your comment, Sinduja. Inspite of me wanting to agree with you, I wouldn't call the regularity of the routine as a rigid structure. Of course going by 8 and getting the bus by 8. 30 is something one cannot refrain from doing but is every day the same, I wonder. And I also cannot call it a "caged existence" because the cage is self-imposed. One chooses to work and earn money or study and hence one has to go through the routine. To recall my own experience, my friends and I loved getting up and going to school by the school-bus and later the public transport. Though it was structured, it posed no discomfort. In fact, we never wanted the Saturdays and Sundays as they would deny us our bus-journeys and joyful chatters. That's why I mention that the "weekend" syndrome is pretty recent. There were weekends even before but they were not so anticipated.

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  13. Yes this weekend concept is indeed newfound. Mainly because earlier people had 9-6 jobs and were home with their families quite early. Now a days everyone has to work hard the whole week including children who have tons of classes and too much peer pressure.
    Everybody looks forward to these two days of respite.
    About the pressure of doing something over the weekend and not wasting it is dumb. The key is to charge your batteries for the week ahead and everyone has a different idea about how to do it.

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    1. Quite right. The work pressure has tremendously increased over the years and hence this weekend anticipation.

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  14. Sometimes I work harder on the "weekend" than I do the rest of the week. I often come to work on Monday and say glad is Monday, now I can rest.

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    1. Like your point of view. Hope the week is sailing well.

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  15. When I was at school/college, weekends necessarily meant going out with friends/family,. movies and having fun. NOw with Office pressures, I would just want to sleep at home and eat Amma's food and relax and do nothing at all!

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    1. Doing nothing is the key, I reckon. No schedules and no hurried stuff.

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  16. Very well written and makes one think! Weekends are also passe as most KPOs have shifts and I myself have spent many a Sunday at work editing financial documents (4 years back). Workplace on Sunday was peaceful with skeletal staffing and one could do much more work on a Sunday :)

    Life is as one treats it everyday can be a weekend or every weekend can be a tiresome Monday morning!

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    1. What is a KPO, Mahesh?

      Well-said. Life is as one treats it!

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  17. Ahhhaa! what an observation my dear Susan! Given that I am in the habit of wishing happy weekends to my friends including you :P(grins)
    But then yeah the concept's significance does dawn on me every time I have to forego plans for a movie, trip home or catching up with friends etc because I do not have "Saturday offs"!
    But then it is all right...I do have my Sunday to rest and relax which is what weekend means to me :)
    Lovely post my dear friend...
    happy 'days' ahead to you! :D
    hugs

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  18. The ones who enjoy their work don't look for ward to the 'weekend' Yes maybe a day off in a week is fine but two days?
    That is the western culture.

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    1. Quite right, Joe.

      Our Indian system is or was quite a balanced one until the colonisation of MNCs.

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