“Not all classrooms have four walls.”
It is quite true and I too, have been learning a lot while travelling last year. It is then, I came across with these two new terms “Naturism” and “Nudism”.
What is Naturism and Nudism?
It is a way of life involving a collective practice of nudism and based on the idea of returning to the natural state. It is an ethic, a philosophy of life that aims for the well being of the naked body in contact with the natural elements that surround us such as air, sun and water.
It is believed that these two terms are interchangeable but in fact it is not completely.
Naturism, a word that already has Nature in it, therefore it is a way of life in peace with nature by practicing communal nudity to encourage self-respect, respect for others and for the environment. Furthermore, the health benefits make it more plausible for people around the globe to practice it.
Nudism, on the other hand, is practiced by nudists and they are generally considered less spiritual and they just enjoy being naked. Moreover, there are health benefits of being in the raw.
I started to dig more about those terms and found out many things such as, Naturism or Nudism is very much present in Europe. It is practiced privately as well as publicly, there are places reserved in the woods, beaches … that allows optional or mandatory clothing.
How did I get to know?
Well, I was planning my travel journey and I started to look for a few options to stay for free with locals in France. I posted about my interest to know the culture and people while travelling on a website and the first person who responded on the site was a Nudist from Lyon. He asked me that he will let me stay but only if I am comfortable in practice Nudism with him and one of his friend. Now, my dear Indian people, you already have an idea that what could have been my reaction. I knew squat about Naturism and an offer like that, of course I declined it. But then after reading more about it and talking to a few friends, now I would love to practice naturism given that, it should be an open place like there are some beaches in France that you will read about in a minute.
I was new to this idea so I turned it down and didn’t do it then. However, I would also like to state that it is not always the case that if it sounds bad just because it is new to us, then it is bad. People are very open about such things in Europe and that I got to know after I discussed about it to my friend in France.
I was in Lille (Northern France) staying at Greg’s (an awesome host in Lille) and I talked to him about what I encountered while looking for a host. He narrated his own experience. He was going to Amsterdam for Christmas celebration with an Indian friend and he was not aware that his friend found a free place for them in Amsterdam on the same website but the welcoming person was a Naturist and the Indian guy agreed as well to stay naked. They arrived at the host’s place and a few moments later, he got naked and Greg found out about all of this, If I remember correctly I guess that Indian guy didn’t really understand the concept at the time of confirming his stay. Well eventually, they all enjoyed being naked, though the Indian guy did take some time but Greg was cool.
Now, let’s read about a few places available in France to practice Naturism.
Bois de Vincennes, Paris
No, no, you’ve read correctly! There is an area reserved in Paris that allows you to walk around naked. I remember when Bruno (A parisian friend) told me about Naturist’s place in Paris, It was quite surprising for me too though I already knew about one that is in Berlin. However, you can roam around that place in clothes as well as nudity is optional in Bois de Vincennes.
Late 2016, the Paris Council voted for a naturist area entirely free and located at the Bois de Vincennes, but the initiative we thought postponed until spring 2018 has finally been launched on August 31, 2017. Paris very first naturist area is an official thing.
Cap d’Adge (Naturist’s Village)
Cap d’Agde ranks first among naturist destinations in France. This village offers a wide variety of services and facilities: accommodation, marina, restaurants, shops and shopping centers, banks, medical services … For holiday lovers in harmony with nature, the village of Cap d’Agde has inspired the naturist spirit, promoting respect for oneself and others in a preserved environment. Nudity in Cap d’Adge is not Mandatory but it is quite famous naturist’s destination therefore you might see a lot of people roaming around or shopping naked in the shops. It’s a Naturist’s Village and not just a Beach.
Plage de Tahiti, St. Tropez, France
Popular among the celebs, the beaches of St. Tropez are famous for pioneering the topless sunbathing craze of the ’60s. Plage de Tahiti is no exception to this.
Stars frequent visit this favorite hotspot and enjoy the beautiful sands. Who knows, you may spot someone famous skinny-dipping here.
If you are a naturist who prefers to go clothing optional only among classy crowds this is the best nude beach for your taste.
By the way, this whole topic also reminded me of something in India that I would like to add in spite of the fact that it may not completely correspond to the above article.
Naked Saints in India
The Naga Babas (Naked saints), literally meaning ‘Naked Yogis’, are a part of the Shaivite saints. Naga Saints live a life of anonymity. They do not interact with the general public and live in caves, forests and deep inside the jungles. They usually visit the civilization during the “mahakumbh” festival in india to take part in the holy dip.
One thing you must not do at a Naturist’s place; Being ashamed of your body
Going to a nude beach is supposed to be liberating. It’s not about perfection. If you’re going to spend the whole day squirming, it’s not for you.
P.s : Soon I’ll add a video on – What Indians think about Naturism and Nudism.