Samoa to jump forward one day in time
The South Pacific island nation of Samoa plans to jump a day on Friday 30th December, 2011 to Sunday, New Year, 1st January, 2012 escaping a day. The Samoans will sleep on Friday and wake up on Sunday, switching to the west side of the international dateline in order to make it easier to do business with Australia, New Zealand and eastern Asia. This move will reverse a decision made 119 years ago to stay a day behind in order to facilitate trade with the United States, and will end Samoa’s claim to fame as the last place on Earth to see each day’s sunset, the Associated Press reports. However, neighboring American Samoa, a U.S. territory, will remain on the California side of the dateline.
This isn’t the first time that Samoa has looked eastward: in 2009, the country switched from driving on the right to the left side of the road, in order to standardize with Australia and New Zealand. The changes reflect the country’s increased relations with the Asia-Pacific region. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said that Samoa is currently missing out on two working days a week doing business with New Zealand and Australia due to being on the American side of the international dateline. Currently, when it is Sunday morning in Samoa, it is approaching Monday morning in New Zealand, Australia, China and Singapore.
"While it’s Friday here, it’s Saturday in New Zealand and when we’re at church on Sunday, they’re already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane," Tuilaepa told the AP. vTuilaepa said he hopes to erase this year’s December 31 from the calendar and celebrate the start of 2012 a night early. He pitched Samoa as a place where tourists will be able to celebrate two birthdays and two wedding anniversaries on the same date but different days, by taking a short flight between Samoa and American Samoa. Samoa, a Polynesian nation of 188,000 people, is located about halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. Nearby islands include Tonga, Fiji and the Cook Islands