This Norwegian Island Wants to Be the World's First Time-Free Zone

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This Norwegian Island Wants to Be the World's First Time-Free Zone

 

The concept of time has existed for as long as we can remember. Now, it is used to measure the minutes, hours, days, and months in our lives. Countries have their time zones and a global 24-hour clock. We are able to track everything because of time. As much as it brings a lot of benefits to us, the island of Sommarøy in Norway is trying to do away with conventional timekeeping. 

 

Photo by: FSvetlana via Shutterstock

 

Last June, the residents of the island spearheaded the Not Time campaign. Kjell Ove Hveding, the campaign’s head, presented their petition to a member of parliament, aiming to formally eradicate time and boost residents’ flexibility. According to Lonely Planet, a large travel guide book publisher, one of the key points of this campaign is that they live in a place with midnight sun and midday moon. From May 18 to July 26, the sun doesn’t set in Sommarøy, giving the 300-strong population 69 days of continuous daylight. At the same time, it also doesn’t experience any sunrise between November and January.

 

Photo Credit: Tramont_ana on Getty (via Lonely Planet)

 

In an interview, Hveding stated that during those times, residents are doing their usual activities. Children are playing soccer, teens are going for a swim, people are painting their houses, and many more. If officially become ‘time-free’, there will be no opening or closing times for shops or schools on the island. This allows residents to work flexible hours. National Public Radio, an American privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization, reported that the island has adapted to create new social conventions.

"Now, we make signs for every house in the village. Whenever you put out the sign, all people who see the sign can knock on your door and say, 'I see the sign. I know that we are most welcome.' And that is the way of living, and we love it,” Hveding said. The residents also wanted to spend more time being alive. 

 

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