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Offline Danee

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China naturist resort hot topic
« on: July 25, 2009, 12:31:46 pm »

HANGZHOU - A NATURIST swimming resort to be open Saturday has ignited heated discussion in China where public nudity is still taboo.

The resort in Lin'an County of the eastern Zhejiang province was the second attempt by local people to have a naturist tourist site. The first nude pool in Lin'an opened five years ago but was closed two weeks later under fierce public criticism.

The new resort consists of two 300 square meter natural ponds half way on the mountain, one for men and one for women. The women's pool is 100 meters away from the men's.

A thick bamboo grove blocks the view between the ponds. And patrolmen are ready scare away peeping Toms. Like before, the resort also hit newspaper headlines and was widely discussed.

The resort faces grim prospects - as naturism is a strong cultural taboo in a place where even TV ads for condoms are subject to scorn, said Zhang Xin, marketing director of Amazing Travel's branch in China.

Naturism has its root in western culture as Europeans were eager for self-expression after the Renaissance, which has little to do with the Chinese culture, said a column in Qilu Evening News in the eastern Shandong Province.

'A naked pool is totally unacceptable in Chinese tradition and social customs. China need not to be in line with international practice in this regard,' the column concluded.

Tang Yalei, a scholar of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, said the naturist swimming pools are merely a business and some people are trying to make quick money out of it. Most people may not accept naturism, but it is unnecessary to judge the morality of people who enjoy it, Tang said. 'Besides, as men and women are separated, it is not much different from a public bathhouse,' added Tang.

The naturist pools also have supporters. A survey by Zhejiang Online, a major portal Web site of Zhejiang province, showed that more than 40 per cent of the netizens said 'yes' to the naturist resort while 30 per cent regarded it unseemly and immoral.

'I'm prepared for the worst case where no one comes.' said Xu Fake, developer of the resort. -- XINHUA

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