Just when I thought the coolest thing about Bolivia was the iconic bowler hat, I stumbled upon this. Bolivia’s legislative palace, adorned with “the clock of the south”.

Juan Karita/AP
Juan Karita/AP

According to NPR and the BBC:

Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca presented several reasons for the clock reversal when he announced it in June, saying the change had been made “To get Bolivians to treasure their heritage and show them that they could question established norms and think creatively.Who says that the clock always has to turn one way? Why do we always have to obey? Why can’t we be creative? We don’t have to complicate matters, we just have to be conscious that we live in the south, not in the north.”

The Guardian explained how the hemispheres factor in:

“Clocks are an evolution of the sundial, and in the northern hemisphere a sundial’s shadow runs clockwise, while in the southern hemisphere it moves counterclockwise — making the modern clock a representation of light in the northern hemisphere.”

This act of “creativity”, for me, relegates the bowler one step back to the next coolest thing about Bolivia. Sorry, ladies!

Credit: http://images.travelpod.com
Credit: http://images.travelpod.com

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