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2011-12-30 - ONE NEWS - SAMOA WILL MOVE A DAY AHEAD ON THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE

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Published on Dec 30, 2011

Samoa will erase today from its calendar as it moves a day ahead on the international dateline.

Six months ago, the Samoan government unilaterally decided to move the international date-line from the west to the east of the nation.

At midnight tonight Samoa will jump from Thursday, December the 29th to Saturday the 31st. Friday the 30th, 2011 will have never happened.

A formal ceremony will mark the change and church bells will ring out across the country.

It will become the first country in the world to see the sun, and it is hoped lining up their clock with New Zealand and Australia, will make trading easier.

Putting Samoa in the same timezone as its major trading partners, is a move supported by more than 90% of the chamber of commerce, says President of the Chamber of Commerce, Namulauulu Leota Sami Leota.

"This change imposed by the Government is fully endorsed and supported by the private sector," he said.

Businesses have been completing all transactions today before the weekend jumps ahead.

"If you look at the long-term effect, it will certainly override any disruptions or any impacts that may have arisen because of date change," says Sami Leota.

Samoa Observer editor Mata'afa Keni Lesa says locals are seeing the lighter side of it, too, with all those born on December the 30th currently being the butt of jokes as they will miss out on a birthday tomorrow.

While many locals thought it unnecessary when it was first mooted in May, Lesa says now most accept there are benefits to the change.

For example, he says if someone over there needs to attend a funeral or other urgent event here, there'll be fewer issues applying for visas and arranging finance for tickets.

Samoa joins Kiribati in the central Pacific - it changed its dateline in 1995 so the country which had been split into two could be in the same timezone.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/samoa-le...

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