Winters in Iceland are made from dark matter. It surrounds us islanders when we head out for work in the morning and welcomes us in the afternoon. In other words, the very limited amount of daylight the geographical position of this island in the North is able to squeeze out of the sun come wintertime is cast astray due to hectic work hours Icelanders are accustomed to endure. Gloomy, right?

Downtown Reykjavik
The Reykjavik pond up front with its City Hall on the far left enjoy the sudden burst of daylight around 09:10 AM on a Monday morning. Icelanders generally head of to work from between 07:00 - 08:00 AM, which is pitch black this time of year.

Not to worry! A political party gleefully named Bright Future has proposed a bill in the Icelandic parliament for the clock to be delayed an hour in order for us to get to know the sun a bit better during winter.

The Party’s argument is that we Icelanders have been biologically discomposed in regard to daylight hours ever since the clock in Iceland was set to summertime hours all year round in the hippie year of 1968. This discreptancy between our bodily or biologal functions and how we’ve managed to structure our society trickles down to how we essentially function in our daily lives.

Óttar Proppé, our Minister of Health, singing an educational song about the alphabet.
Óttarr Proppé, chairman of the parliament party Bright Future singing an educational song about the alphabet on the national TV station.

If approved, we Icelanders would for example get more mornings whereas we wake up around and after sunrise instead of basically pitch black night, thus experiencing more time in daylight than otherwise. Maybe not a big deal at first sight. However, researches show that the current condition maintains somewhat a continual social jetlag (yes, this seems to be a real scientific term) which increases the chances of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, et cetera. Also, a kind of seasonal depression here in Iceland, hence winter, has been linked to the amount of time we Icelanders are exposed to darkness in during daytime. So guess what, it turns out that natural everyday daylight is quite essential for us to sustain positive public health!

Neon Lights and Hallgrímskirkja
Neon lights come in handy when in need of direction in downtown Reykjavik. Especially to prevent pedestrians from stepping on the frozen pond and risking cracking it and their dignity.

It’s obvious that being an Icelander can be quite problematic. Summers have no nights and winters are without days. The dusk could nonetheless use an opposing perspective more in its favour in this scripple. Darkness is known to us Northlings to be a prolific creative force for vivid imaginations to act on their subjects; mainly us humans to be exact. Just try turning off the light for a bit. You’ll start seeing all kinds of strange things.

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