Save the Siesta

Brief by Central Staff

Lifestyle – August 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

One sensible tradition continues to be attacked by the one-size-fits-all globalizers.

That tradition is the siesta (sometimes called a “power nap” in yupscale America), and the current victims of the assault are in Portugal.

The European Union is trying to harmonize working hours on the Continent. But while it might make sense for a Swede to be working at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, things are different to the south, where the afternoon siesta is a time-honored way to avoid the torpor-producing afternoon heat by sleeping through it.]

Some Portuguese are fighting back, according to Newsweek. A group of journalists and lawyers, along with one member of parliament, has formed the Portuguese Association of Friends of the Siesta.

Jose Miguel Medeiros, the group’s leader, said they plan “to support a scientific study to encourage more nap-taking, enlisting the help of neurologists and sleep therapists.”

During our recent spell of hot weather, the siesta appealed to one member of our magazine staff, who found legal justification. Note that everything in Colorado that is south or west of the Arkansas River was once Spanish, and then Mexican, territory.

In the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which ended the Mexican War, the United States guaranteed that residents of this conquered territory could have “free enjoyment of their liberty and property.” It doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to claim that this “liberty” includes siestas.