Samoa Moves Into the Future

Dave Killion — May 24, 2011

The Samoan tourist industry is apparently upset that their Prime Minister has decided to shift the international dateline from the west side of the island nation to the east. The shift will bring an end to Samoa’s status as the last place in the world on which the sun sets, and initiate its new status as the first place in the world on which the sun rises –

“… Samoa will redraw the already wobbly line in December so the Pacific nation lies on the west, jumping a day into the future to be in line with Australia and New Zealand.

The country’s newly re-elected prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has defended the move, saying it will make it much easier for his people to do business with Samoa’s main trading partners.”

This seems like a good idea to me, although I imagine the private sector has never allowed anything as easily ignored as a calendar to get in the way of doing business. If a Samoan has to work on Sunday in order to trade with an Aussie or Kiwi for whom the day is Monday, he’s gonna do it. So, are folks behind this?

“Keni Lesa, editor of Samoa Observer, said most people the national newspaper had contacted were puzzled by the decision.

“To be honest, most people don’t understand why he’s done this and many people really aren’t happy about it.”

Tonga, currently the first country to see the sunrise each day, could not be reached for comment.


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