Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Spain 2006

Just as the first taste of the Taiwanese winter has arrived with rain, cold wind and temperatures falling below 20 degrees centigrade, here comes the news about the next congress of the International Naturist Federation.
You might remember I attended my first-ever congress in Croatia in August 2004, yes, more than a year ago. I enjoyed that event quite a bit, especially because Croatia is one of my favorite countries in the world. The only surprise in store for me was the fact that complete nudity was banned inside the conference hall, a bit strange for a naturist center.
Anyway, the next INF conference is set for Spain, for the El Portus center near Cartagena on the east coast. I have never been there, and I hope it lives up to the promise made by the Spanish conference delegates last time, that nudity would be allowed anywhere in the resort, and especially in the meeting hall. Wearing clothes at a naturist congress is like - eating steak in the middle of a vegetarian restaurant, or even worse.
The only problem I might have is that I don't know yet if I will have the free time to go. My holidays are rather restricted, and Spain is not close. Because of my numerous other projects, I might also take a vacation to visit Italy, in particular Sicily, and other parts of Europe. The question is will I be able to fit Spain into that tight schedule? I should if I only go there for the congress, which is just a three-day event anyway, but if I arrive at a naturist resort, I would want to stay there longer, not just for meetings, but also for some sun and beach.
The good thing about the timing of the congress is that in 2006, for the first time, it will take place in early September, meaning that the resort will be less crowded, and be able to provide more space, even if the weather is still gloriously Mediterranean.
And my next problem, of course, is: what will I report to the congress about the situation of naturism in Taiwan? Very little has happened over the past year, in Hong Kong and South Korea there have been a couple of attempts at opening naturist resorts, but not successfully. I'd better get going myself, and work again on the formation of a naturist group. Remember TINA? You can still look back at my posting about "her," and so should I. Time is running out, because 2006 is getting closer and so is Spain.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Breast Feeding

About 30 mothers showed up on a square outside a museum in the Taiwanese capital Taipei last Sunday to breastfeed their babies. The action was organized by the "Taiwan Mother's Milk Association" as a protest against the Taipei Story House, which had expelled two women for breastfeeding her child.
The action was backed by a - male - politician on the Taipei City Council who wants the capital to pass a law which would protect the right of mothers to breastfeed their children in public. The politician refers to apparent similar laws approved in Scotland and in several states of the US.
The association's chairwoman said it was common for women in the 1960s in Taiwan to breastfeed in public, but later, when women's breasts became sexual symbols, the custom was no longer tolerated. It's strange how babies nowadays are supposed to eat - drink their mother's milk - in toilets, she remarked.
Our conclusion: there is no better example of how public nudity can be innocent, beautiful and useful at the same time: a mother who loves her little child and helps it grow up by feeding it from her own body. Naturists can only hope the movement is successful and public breastfeeding becomes an accepted phenomenon in Taiwan.