Friday, October 23, 2009

Naked in your own home

From here in Spain, we’ve been following with some amusement the story of the guy who was arrested in Virginia for being seen naked in his own home. This morning, I had an interesting conversation with one of the other teachers. He was completely mystified by the story, for two reasons. First, what was the big deal about someone being naked? There are nude beaches all over the place in Europe, and for a child to see a naked man is just not unusual. Second, why were all those windows uncovered? Here in Córdoba, not only are all the windows protected by heavy grates, but they are covered by persianas (flexible metal coverings). Spanish people have a perfect horror of people being able to see into their homes, and they seem to think that the streets are crawling with robbers. (I haven’t seen any particular evidence of that.) Of course, all this has the unfortunate side effect of making most home interiors rather dark.

Ah, cultural relativism!

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