Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Naked in the Land of Mao

Wed Jul 27

BEIJING (Reuters) - A heatwave in China has led to a rash of nudeswimming this summer, sparking a moral debate over whether suchskinny-dips should be allowed, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

"I was totally stunned and flushed at the first sight of these nakedmen," the China Daily quoted Zhao Yanjie as saying. Zhao, who lives near a river bank in the northeastern province ofLiaoning, was moved to call on police to prevent such behavior aftershe and her family stumbled upon a group of nude bathers while out foran evening stroll." How can they do such disgraceful things in public?" she asked.

Others argued that while naked swimming might be acceptable in Europe,it violated traditional Chinese customs and ethics." They display their bodies for their own convenience but disregardingthe public interest," said Ai Lijuan, a university lecturer in theseaside city of Dalian.

The swimmers were unrepentant. "We can fully relax ourselves and merge with nature," a swimmer whodeclined to give his name told the newspaper. His enjoyment of skinny-dipping did not make him an exhibitionist, theman said.

This corresponds to our experience here in California. We have plenty of Asians here, but have only met a few at naturist places. One, interestingly enough, was a 70 year old grandmother, who barely (no pun intended) spoke English and was with her 30 something year old daughter.


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