An island in Norway is campaigning to be the first time-free zone, reports CNN. Sommarøy which is north of the Arctic Circle wants to do away with all its watches and let long summer days last forever!
On the island, the sun doesn’t set from May 18 through to July 26, a full 69 days. The locals endure long polar nights from November to January with no trace of sunlight. In the summer months, they make the most of the constant daylight. During this period, they disregard conventional timekeeping.
Islanders want to officially make the island a time-free zone now. Resident islander Kjell Ove Hveding said in a statement,
“There’s constantly daylight, and we act accordingly. In the middle of the night, which city folk might call ‘2 a.m.,’ you can spot children playing soccer, people painting their houses or mowing their lawns, and teens going for a swim.”
The people of Sommarøy sign petition to be time-free zone
Residents gathered at a town hall meeting to sign a petition for a time-free zone. On June 13, Hveding met with Norwegian parliament members to hand over the locals’ signatures. They will discuss the practical and legal challenges of the initiative.
Getting this officially recognised by the parliament would simply mean formalizing what the islanders have already been practising for generations. With official permission, they hope to be free of traditional opening hours and want to introduce flexibility in school and working hours.
The little island has a population of not more than 300 people. Fishing and tourism are the main industries. This new initiative could be a publicity boost for the island. The Islanders and the Norwegian tourism board are hoping that tourists will be drawn to the quirky appeal of this Nordic island. Who wouldn’t want an endless summer?
While the details of the initiative are worked out, the people of Sommarøy are gearing up for a full five weeks of daylight before they see a sunset.
Also Read: Top 5 Tourist Attractions in Norway