THE KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD

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Siesta (page 89)

A siesta is a short midday or afternoon nap or rest that is most often taken in Spain and Latin America. The Siesta has also spread to the Philippines, the Middle East, and North Africa. Siestas are most often taken in these countries because of the high temperatures during the day and the heavy intake of food during the lunchtime hour.

Siesta

Spaniards taking a siesta.

Siestas usually take place when the sun is at the highest point in the sky and last about 15-30 minutes. However, they can last up to two hours. Siestas help to revive energy levels that are depleted by the feeling of post-lunch drowsiness. 

The siesta has been around for thousands of years and used to be considered a physical necessity rather than a luxury that it is seen as today. It is thought that the origin of la siesta dates back to the Spanish Civil War (of 1936-1939). However, this idea is controversial because the siesta tradition was common long before the 1930s.

Many Spaniards experienced extreme poverty and had to work multiple jobs, so the siesta allowed them to eat lunch and relax. In modern day Spain between the hours of 2 and 5 pm, the city shuts down to allow the locals to rest after a long morning and prepare for the busy afternoon. The modern siesta allows people to go home and spend time with their family and friends, not necessarily take a nap.

In The Kingdom of This World, it is said that Pauline Bonaparte spent most of her time between siestas and waking in the company of some handsome young officer while her husband Leclerc was away.

 

For further information, including more pictures, go to:

http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/customs/siesta.asp

http://www.siestaawareness.org/pages/siesta-facts.php

http://fractalenlightenment.com/836/culture/its-siesta-time (source of the image above)



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