Daily Archives: May 23, 2012

Panama Joins The Rest Of The World

I recently wrote about Panama’s slightly schizophrenic association with weights and measures https://onemoregoodadventure.com/2012/05/06/how-metric-system-may-save-teen-live

Mileages and speed limits are measured in kilometers rather than miles. Land is measured in meters and hectares instead of yards and acres. On the other hand while liquids, like soft drinks and beer are labelled in milliliters milk is still sold by the quart and gas at the pump is measured in gallons, not liters. Meat, vegetables and bread are sold in pound and ounce portions, not grams and kilograms.

These last vestiges of American imperial hegemony (Panama is, after all, a creation of the United States) are being stripped away.  No later than December 12th, by Law 52 of 2007, pounds and ounces will officially be replaced by kilograms and grams and ounces, quarts and gallons will become liters. We’ll see how easily Panamanians adapt to asking the butcher for “quinientos gramas de carne molida,”  instead of the”libra” of hamburger they grew up with.


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