In much of the world, it’s the year 2016, but in Bolivia it’s 5524, at least according to an indigenous calendar there. And now the country’s president, Evo Morales, has suggested that the country switch back to that indigenous calendar, and away from the Gregorian one.
Morales said Bolivia should "reclaim its ancestral calendar as part of the rebuilding of our identity,” according to the BBC. That calendar has 13 months comprised of 28 days, making it more orderly than the Gregorian one, Morales said.
The number 5524 for the year comes from some simple historical math. It’s been 524 years since Columbus arrived in the Americas, and the 5000 comes from an estimate of how long indigenous people have been present in the area.
The suggestion from Morales came as the country celebrated the winter solstice on June 21— a national holiday— and the start of the new year in the calendar used by the Aymara indigenous group. The biggest celebration for the occasion took place at an archaeological site called Tiahuanaco, although rituals took place in other locations as well, like Lake Titicaca’s Sun Island.
Bolivia isn’t the only country to consider changes how it keeps time. North Korea set its clock back by 30 minutes last year in a gesture meant to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of Japanese rule.