Eideard

Posts Tagged ‘naturists

Fewer nudists, numbers dwindle in Germany’s population

leave a comment »

Much to the chagrin of Free Body Culture (FKK) enthusiasts who have been stripping off their clothing on beaches and parks since the early 1900s, a cold wind has been blowing across Germany for nudists and their numbers are steadily dwindling.

“German society is changing and it’s not easy to be a naturist anymore,” said Kurt Fischer, president of the German FKK association (DFK). There are some 500,000 registered nudists and a total of seven million Germans sunbathe naked regularly…

The main problem is the shrinking population, Fischer said.

The number of Germans fell by more than 3.2 million over the last three decades even though the country’s total population has managed to remain more or less steady at about 82 million thanks to immigration — often from countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans as well as Turkey and Arabic countries.

“Our problems are demographic changes and the fact that immigrants aren’t interested in social nudity,” said Fischer, 70, whose association has such honored standing in Germany that it is even part of the Olympic Sport Federation (DOSB).

“Germany is relying more and more on immigrants to keep the population steady. But many come from countries with strong religious beliefs. They just aren’t into FKK.” Immigrants who arrive from cultures where headscarves are common will not usually be interested in becoming naturists in Germany, he said…

Nude sunbathing has a long tradition in Germany. The Free Body Culture (FKK) movement was founded in the early 20th century and succeeded in taking much of the smut and embarrassment out of nudity.

Even Germany’s top model Heidi Klum was quoted in the German media recently extolling the virtues of topless sunbathing and describing difficulties she has pursuing it in places such as the United States and Italy where it’s frowned upon or illegal…

In Germany, public nudity on beaches and lakes is by and large tolerated and practitioners face no legal consequences, although some courts have fined some caught hiking nude on public trails or riding bikes or horses while naked…

There are other reasons contributing to decline of the unique German cultural tradition. As a 70-year-old eastern woman named Brigitte pointed out, growing prosperity has led to growing waist sizes…

“But with the rise in prosperity a lot of people have come apart at the seams and they can’t show their bodies in public anymore. We’ve become a lot chubbier with all this prosperity. It’s not really very aesthetic anymore.”

I grew up with a flavor of naturism over my summers at my grandparents’ farm. Though Italian, their view of nature and the human body was influenced by German and Austrian groups like the FKK who spent a significant part of their outdoor time in northern Italy. I still have truly embarrassing photos hidden away somewhere of family frolics under an artificial rain shower from a hose on hot summer days.

I even managed some mountain biking au naturel here in New Mexico when I moved here a quarter-century ago. Not now, though. Aside from upsetting neighbors in this rather staid workingclass [predominantly Catholic] community, Rally would probably bark at me for being out of shape.

About these ads

Written by Ed Campbell

July 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,804 other followers