As far as people of Norway are concerned, Freddie Mercury was wrong in saying “Time waits for no one.” If all goes well, the Sommaroy island of Norway will be the first one to get rid of time altogether! By Bayar Jain
The fishing village island of Sommaroy in the western part of the Troms county of Norway receives continues sunshine for almost 60 days a year. Between May 18 and July 26, the lines between ‘day’ and ‘night’ blur at this white-beached beauty. On the flip-side, the sun does not rise at all from November to January. In effect, this means that the 300 odd people that live here do not abide by the notion of ‘daylight’ and ‘night-time’ in the same way as the rest of the world; a manifestation that is symbolised by the discarded watches and timepieces on the bridge from the mainland to the island. Their solution? Become a time-free zone!
The idea behind a time-free zone is to make day-to-day living for residents, especially students, and workers, easier. Citizens argue that ‘normal’ business hours followed by the rest of humanity cannot be applied here simply because they do not experience time in the same way. While the rest of the world considers anything after midnight late, here people can be seen playing soccer, mowing their lawn, or even going for a swim.
On June 13, members of the town’s council met with their minister to officially rid themselves of a time zone and to discuss the practicality of the move. A campaign has also begun to formalise this. In doing so, they hope to break free from a box that confines them to normative time conventions. Moreover, it provides residents with an opportunity to make better use of daylight and maximise it.