Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Hot showers are no so much about getting clean and fresh as being nakedly sensual and feeling happy. I guess most people feel happy in a hot shower - that's why some of us sing.

I read of a judge who retired to chambers for a shower before any difficult summing up. It was not ritualized cleansing - he said that free-roaming shower meditation brought him perspective.

In Finland, the sauna has a very special role. The shower (or swim in the lake, sea or pool) after sauna is part of the ritual, but  the main event is sitting naked with others in 80 deg C semi-darkness and staring at a few hot stones on top of the stove.

Being naked with your friends is an affirmation of closeness and openness. In business saunas (quite frequent occurences) the hierarchy is reversed or levelled - the older guys higher up the ladder are tubby and out of shape, the younger guys trimmer. Stripped of the badges and trappings of status, the conversations are open, friendly, listening and cooperative. IMO the business sauna plays quite a big role in the comparative equitability of Finnish business people.

BTW mixed business saunas are rare, but I've hear the women's versions are even more levelling across the age spread.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jul 16th, 2008 at 06:30:23 AM EST
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