Today is a Taturday. Where I’m from, folks would be in church by now. Actually, by some standards, some might even consider you late.
That’s an Adventist background for you. I call it growing up elitist. The core belief in Adventism (Seventh Day Adventists to be specific…more commonly known as SDAs in this here Kenya) is resting, and worshipping God on the Sabbath day. This is based on the Biblical creation story where God created everything including man in six days, and rested on the seventh. Hence, the only activity, other than rest, that people should be engaging in, is worship.
It started way back, this practice. Remember the Jews? The Bible informs us that they lost their way (from God) hence had to wander in the desert for quite an amount of time before reaching the land of milk and honey. As we all know from our journeys to the Sahara (through that reliable tours company, National Geographic), deserts are hot. But unlike kitchens, food is scarce. As God’s children on Earth, the Jews understandably had to be spared such and God alicheza kama yeye (did as only God could), food ikamwoket (came). Now comes the interesting part. Manna was provided on a daily (quails also, at some point), except on the Sabbath. On any ordinary day, manna would not survive overnight; it would be rotten and inedible the next morning. The only day when manna would remain edible until the next day would be the sabbath eve, so as to prevent the Jews from having to source manna on the Sabbath (considered as work).
Bible lesson aside, you get the point. Any form of work that is not worship is shunned upon on the Sabbath. This was the philosophy that SDAs inherited. Which is not that different from the philosophy of most Abrahamic religious denominations and sects. Most Christians observe Sunday as their worship day. Muslims, I gather, observe Friday as their sacred day of worship. Which brings about another question? On which day is the Sabbath? An SDA will confidently tell you that it is Saturday. The week, they’ll say, starts on Sunday. This is not the case however for everyone. For most of us, through our institutional experiences through school and employment, have observed a pattern that has Monday as the first day. Monday is typically the first day of school, and the first day of a typical work week. Hence Monday blues.
Hence our fanfare over weekends.
Hence Furahiday and TGIF.
The case is entirely different in the Middle East, the birthplace of Islam. Their week begins on Saturday, hence why in Swahili, the name for Saturday is Jumamosi. Juma means week and mosi means one. A friend of mine, Tall Black Guy (not the DJ), actually confirmed this having lived and worked in Saudi, Dubai, and Qatar. Based off what he told me, Thursday and Friday are the weekends there. Thursday has a Saturdayi-ish, work-half-day kind of vibe to it. Fridays, well, that’s the holiest day of the week.