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Norwegian islanders hoping to go ‘time-free' and banish clocks

Residents in Sommaroey will have 69 days of constant light in the summer and believe they are ill-served by traditional clock times.

Residents on an Arctic Norwegian island with 69 days of constant light in the summer say they want to go “time-free” and be more flexible with school and working hours to make the most of the long days.

Resident Kjell Ove Hveding said people on the island of Sommaroey, north of the Arctic Circle, should get rid of traditional business opening hours and “conventional time-keeping”.

Kjell Ove Hveding, representing Sommarøy, hands over a petition calling for the end of time (North Norway Tourist Board)

That is because the sun does not set from May 18 to July 26.

He said on Wednesday he met with a Norwegian politician on June 13 to hand over a petition signed by dozens of islanders for a “time-free zone” and discuss its practical and legal challenges.

Sitting west of Tromsoe, the island has a population of 350 and fishery and tourism are the main industries.

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