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Norwegian island wants to erase the concept of time

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An island in the Norwegian Sommaroy, West Tromso is campaigning to rid residents of time, captioning their movement as “what we want, when we want”.

They argued that business hours should not apply to them as they experience time differently to the rest of the world.

Winters are dark and summers light, leading the argument for their bid to remove themselves from any time zones.

Kjell Ove Hveding, leader of the Time-Free Zone campaign, said the aim is to provide flexibility.

“All over the world, people are characterized by stress and depression,” he told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

“In many cases this can be linked to the feeling of being trapped, and here the clock plays a role. We will be a time-free zone where everyone can live their lives to the fullest.

“Children and young people still have to go to school, but there is room for flexibility. One does not need to be put into a box in the form of school or working hours.

“Our goal is to provide full flexibility, 24/7. If you want to cut the lawn at 4am, then you do it.”

The sun stays up in the sky between the 18th of May and 26th of July, leaving their skies lit for 60 days. This makes it increasingly difficult to differentiate between day and night.

This is symbolized by a bridge which leads from the mainland to the island, which is littered with watches and various other timepieces.

This move would only formalize a normal system which is already in play.

“There’s constantly daylight, and we act accordingly,” he added. “In the middle of the night, which city folk might call ‘2am’, you can spot children playing soccer, people painting their houses or mowing their lawns, and teens going for a swim.”

Landing a petition with local MP Kent Gudmundsen in June, Hveding discussed practicalities and challenges which would arise following the implementation of this new system, with other northern towns including Nordland and Finnmark backing the movement.

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