At noon on the dot, punctuality will make its debut in Peru. Lateness will be a thing of the past, or so its government hopes.
Sirens will blare and church bells will ring to remind 27 million Peruvians to synchronise their clocks with time set by the Peruvian Navy.
Fed up with the nation’s reputation for poor time-keeping, the government is promoting the benefits of being on time in a campaign called “la hora sin demora”, or “time without delay”.
Businesses, government institutions and schools will be urged to stop tolerating “hora peruana” – which usually means about an hour late.
President Alan Garcia is renowned for his good timekeeping, and he believes that the laissez-faire attitude of his countrymen harms national productivity and deters foreign investors.
The concept of “manana,” literally “tomorrow” in Spanish but usually meaning some indefinite time in the future, is common to Latin America.
Its nations often score badly in global surveys on punctuality. Time is seen in a much less rigid way than in for example North America and more industrialised countries.