Karel lived in Sweden for three months when he was in his early twenties, and he has fond memories of the beautiful, bare-breasted Swedish women at the beach.
This time, in spite of the extraordinarily warm, sunny weather, there are no naked breasts in sight. Everyone is demurely covered. Why, oh why? Was it just a fad, like streaking, now forgotten? We saw many Muslims in the city. Is it out of consideration for all the new immigrants?
It wasn’t until we were in Norway that we got our answer from friends. The concern about skin cancer has everyone covering up as much as they can tolerate during sunny weather. In fact, we’re told, you sometimes see children dressed from head to toe in coveralls of special, uv-screening fabric. The other explanations we came up with also play a role, but health is the main reason.
So much for the good ol’ days of innocence and ignorance, but I’m glad to know that this change is not due to a creeping prudishness.Vacation 2014: Europe