Written bySneha Bengani ·
Nudism can mean different things to different people. For some, it's the most natural state of being, a life path. For others, it may be a way to protest, a symbol of transgression, a path to enlightenment, a muse of artistic creation.
But what is it that makes people take to it, despite it being a taboo and a punishable offence in most nations?
Being nude in public is banned under Indonesia's anti-pornography laws. But despite it, a small community of 10-15 naturists in Jakarta meet every now and then and spend the day naked in a secluded holiday spot.
They talk about everything from work to international politics. They dare not go public with their identities, even on social media, for they fear backlash and incessant trolling.
Most regular nudists find naturism a way of life. They say they feel happier and a lot more comfortable when naked.
They also believe that stripping down lets them be their most authentic selves; promotes healthy body image, tolerance; and helps them bond with other nudists at a primal level.
Several others also practice to understand why people take to it despite the stigma.
A group of naked people is often perceived as a sex party. However, nudity has nothing to do with sex. It is not the same as exhibitionism.
Nudists practice naturism as a discipline and resent people judging them as immoral, or filthy or grotesque. They are often thought of as porn stars. Some think of them as nothing short of animals and cannibals.
Most of the world frowns upon public nudity. It is legal only in a select few nations. The short list includes Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, France, Germany and Norway. These countries let you roam around freely as long as you do not create nuisance.
Try not to stare at a nudist. They consider it rude. If you leer or make sexual innuendos among a group of naturists, you are most likely to get expelled.
Cameras are strictly prohibited in such gatherings. So don't even try unless you have an explicit permission. Naked people value their privacy dearly. Do not expect them to tell you their full names.
Naturism was suggested as an alternative term for nudism by Health and Efficiency magazine in 1934. However, the new word didn't become a part of the general vocabulary until the 1960s.
Nudists call people who wear clothes "textiles."
It is a common belief that most nudists are upper-class, rich people.
Germany and France were the first European countries to have organized nudist groups.
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