Alta has been struggling with identity for a while now.  It was granted city status in 2000 with only 18,000 residents.  Since then the city has been obsessed with naming themselves.  Tromsø has been called the 'Paris of the North' since the 1800s and is also known by the locals as the 'cultural centre for the North'.  When Rovaniemi, Finland, named itself as the 'Santa city' I could hear all of Norway tutt.  Naming oneself in Norway seems to be important - it stands to Norwegian-reason that a city with a tagline must mean it is a real city. In the last couple of years the term 'Nordlysbyen' (the Northern Lights City) has appeared - not organically but in a political plight to attract tourists.  The city politicians were hoping to nab northern travelers to Alta with one of Norway's biggest attractions - the Northern Lights.  Many Norwegians have just borked at Alta's attempt to capitalise on the natural wonder.  The naming is certainly misleading as not only Alta but all the Arctic gets Northern Lights.  But that certainly didn't stop the kommune from applying for their new airport to be called Northern Lights International Airport.  It was rejected, of course, but then the Nordlys swimming pool will be finished by the end of the year and there is a push to build a 'Nordlys' cathedral. The whole 'Nordlys' brand is very redundant for Alta as most of its tourists visit in Summer when there is no Northern Lights.  Many tourists come to Alta because of the the UNESCO World Heritage listed rock carvings.  Alta has other features that are more suited for a nick name - salmon fishing or slate mining and it is the gateway to Finnmark and Sami regions.  Other cities in Finnmark have voiced their opinion of Alta's Gollumish-grasp for the name Nordlysbyen.  Marketeers and journalists have warned Alta of the name and if anything, Alta could be seen as a greedy name-dropper. I suggest that Alta shouldn't be too hasty in naming itself.  In fact, Alta shouldn't be naming itself at all.  It should be given a name by its fans.  That's what we do in Australia.  Nicknames are very important in Oz.  You have to earn a nickname but when you do everyone knows who you are. 

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