In another dimension

The future is ahead of us, and the past is behind? Not necessary at all. It turns out that in different cultures the idea of time is significantly different.

The past is behind us, and the future is ahead? Not necessary. The American psychologist Lera Boroditsky suggested that the Australian Aborigines lay out a photo of a person in his youth, maturity and old age in order. Americans and Europeans do this from left to right, but for the natives the past is always at sunrise, and the future is in the West. If they sat facing the north, then laid out pictures from right to left, if to the west – then vertically, from themselves. It happens even more unexpected: in the northern dialects of the Chinese language, the future is below, and the past above. And in the language of the Aimara Indians the future behind, and the past is ahead (after all, we generally know the past, but we do not see the future – and therefore, perhaps, it is behind). In other words, in various cultures, the ideas about the time are different. Perhaps this is a chance for us when in an unclear situation we lose the landmarks, look at it differently. And to find in the usual picture of the world some other, unexpected meaning.

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