Wednesday, September 15, 2010

INF World Congress and the Future of Asianaturist

Admittedly, we didn't find many reports about the 32nd World Congress of the International Naturist Federation last weekend in Pizzo Greco, Italy. During, just before and after the congress I looked up the web sites of major Italian newspapers such as La Stampa, Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica, but I couldn't find anything. Maybe, the reports were too well hidden, or they just did not bother amid all the infighting in Italian politics, the economy and the 9/11 anniversary.
Over the following weeks, I'm sure more news about the decisions and discussions at the INF World Congress will become known. Unfortunately, it might take at least two weeks and maybe one month before that news will reach you through this blog, because we are taking that time for a leave.
A trip to Europe is the first reason - the wrong time of the year to be visiting many naturist beaches, that is sure - but we are also rethinking the approach of this blog. Reporting on naturism in Asia is interesting because there are many naturists in this continent waiting for their governments to catch on to the benefits of naturism just like countries mainly in Europe, the Americas and Oceania have done. On the other hand, because naturism is still in its pre-organized stage here, that has meant that we have had a lack of news and a shortage of information.
Therefore, we feel the need that a more general and expansive approach might be needed to naturism in Asia. We could go beyond reporting on small events in naturism in this region without dropping the theme altogether. In other words, offer a mix of Asian naturist news with more general information and thoughts.
The new blog, potentially with a new name, should come to light some time in October 2010. We are also thinking about a related Twitter service and a higher frequency of posts, but that all depends on a variety of factors which have to become clearer over the next few weeks.
In any event, we'll be back, see you in October and enjoy the rest of a naturist-friendly September.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

World Congress of Naturists (2)

The opening of the International Naturist Federation's 32nd World Congress at the Calabrian camping of Pizzo Greco is just hours away.

Asianaturist will not be there, but we thought it interesting to see what kind of topics such a congress discusses. Apart from obvious elections of top officials and changes in the rules which only member organizations care about, there will also be a series of roundtable discussions hosted by members of the Italian naturist federation, Fenait.

Most of the topics feature the relationship between naturism on the one hand, and ecologism or "non-naturist" nudity on the other hand. Since naturism was founded a long time ago mainly as a health movement, and as a movement of going back to nature amid rapid industrial development, it is only normal for naturism today to reflect on its relationship with the new version of that concern, now titled of course ecologism or environmentalism.

The first roundtable at Pizzo Greco deals with naturism and vegetarianism. Fenait magazine Info Naturista says the group will not take a stance in favor of against vegetarianism, it will only elaborate on the links of naturism with the food movement. Personally, I don't think there should be a link. Naturism and vegetarianism are two separate ideas, and can be linked by individuals, but should become automatic or compulsory. A naturist movement that insists on vegetarianism will lose a lot of support without gaining much on the other side.

A second roundtable deals with the wider conflict between what Fenait calls "ethical naturism" and commercial naturism. The former was the idea of the founding members of the movement: going to live in the middle of nature, in what people today still call "naturist camps," with a simple lifestyle in harmony with nature. The latter is the form of naturism that dominates today: the operation of large or at least comfortable naturist resorts, where one can enjoy all the comforts of modern society, such as buffet lunches, large swimming pools, sauna, supermarket, Internet connections. The discussion will also emphasize ethical naturism as a lifestyle, i.e. it means naturism and nudity is not something just for the holidays, it continues back at home, away from the resorts. The discussion will seek an answer to the question of what today's naturists want the most. One of the topics to come up is the falling numbers of members in naturist associations: people go on holiday to resorts and hotels, but do not join associations that would allow them to live the naturist life outside of the holidays. In that light, the difference between naturists and nudists will also be discussed, with the latter being seen as more superficial, just being nude without any further philosophical dimension.

Naturism and ecology is the theme of the third roundtable. The link is logical, since the early naturists emphasized respect for nature, flora and fauna, in particular at naturist club areas. The discussion also wants to bring the naturist movement closer to the environmentalist movement.

A final roundtable handles the different perceptions of naturism and being nude in the eyes of men and women. Recruiting enough women to naturism has always been a problem. Often the male partner will first join out of interest, the female partner will be either inimical or indifferent, and only make her move later. The purpose of the roundtable, Fenait says, is to provide arguments against those in Italy and elsewhere who think naturism is not suitable for men, women and children.

Since the World Congress starts today, I expect to report more and also to find reports in the international media I can refer to in my next postings. Too bad I can't be there myself.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

World Congress of Naturists (1)

Once every two years the International Naturist Federation holds a World Congress. While you could assume this is the equivalent to football's World Cup or to the Olympics, it is actually a gathering, not so much of rank-and-file naturists, but of national-level naturist organizations from all over the world.
After past congresses in Croatia and Brazil, the INF chose Italy for its 32nd World Congress. From September 8 through 12, the delegates will meet at Pizzo Greco, a camping village with a nice beach near Isola di Capo Rizzuto in Calabria, the southwestern part of Italy. While Italy is close to the European heartland of naturism, the country is actually one of the least naturism-friendly ones if you compare the number of naturist resort and free naturist beaches to neighboring countries like France, Croatia, or even Spain and Greece. The presence of the INF World Congress is supposed to help change that situation.
What happens at INF World Congresses? The movement has its own sports events, so the congress is not really to be compared with the World Cup or the Olympics. Representatives of the national naturist groups will sit down and discuss topics relevant to the current situation of international naturism, as well as put forward motions that can be accepted or rejected by votes during the congress.
Topics which will the subjects of roundtable discussions at this weekend's congress include the relationship between naturism and vegetarianism, the conflict between ethical naturism and commercial naturism, naturism and ecology, and the differences in naturist experiences by men and by women.
It will be worthwhile following the coverage of the event by the international media as well as the latest news from the congress itself.
Over the next week, Asianaturist will report more about the issues at stake and about the event. The relevant web sites are: for the Italian Naturist Federation; for the location.

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