Nude Protest : The Doukhobors

There was some inevitability that a steady supply of Brit-based, RL naturist, SL-using avatars would run dry eventually, so I’ve been casting my net further afield in a search for a new co-conspirator to help write this blog. I’ve nothing against people from other locations, it’s just that I’ve hitherto found that being able to contact people ‘live’ works best on a similar time zone. But as the UK well has run dry for now, I’ve located two new staff members, one male, one female, both being RL naturists, pretty much a given in order to write for SLN2. The male blogger (a rarity in itself, most SL bloggers appear to be female) is based in Europe, and I’ll introduce you to him in due course. Firstly, our female blogger, Emily, from Canada.

I was intrigued by Emily’s desire to write for SLN2 due to her exceptionally interest back story. Emily’s forebears were part of the Doukhobor religious sect in British Columbia. I’ll leave it to Emily to pick up their, and her, story…

Ella

Hi! I’m Emily, or Amaliya as I style myself in SL, a nod to my Russian roots. While I’m a proud Canadian, I’m aware that my ancestors arrived in Canada from Russia, as part of the Doukhobor religious sect, fleeing persecution in Russia.

They settled in Krestova, British Columbia (B.C.), about 500 miles east of Vancouver, or about the same distance SW of Calgary, if you’re trying to locate it on the map. These days,  my family and I aren’t part of that religious sect, and I live in Edmonton, about 750 miles north of Krestova.

I adopted the name Amaliya, as it’s perhaps the closest Russian equivalent to Emily, my given name in RL, although I’ll be blogging under my ‘Russian’ name, and SL avatar’s name, Amaliya.

I’m not part of any organised naturism locally. I have plenty of sparsely populated lakes around me here in Edmonton I can use for naturist purposes, and my partner and I have regularly driven to Wreck Beach, BC, to enjoy our nudism in the company of others.

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Emily often visits Wreck Beach, British Columbia, for her communal naturism

But let’s travel back to when my ancestors arrived in Canada. Persecuted in Russia for being peaceniks (they burned weapons and refused to serve in the Russian military). That was well over 100 years ago, but given the world we live in now, ‘enlightened’ by any stretch of the imagination. The writer Leo Tolstoy paid for many Doukhobors to leave Russia and travel somewhere they’d be safe. I’ve not been able (thus far) to ascertain if my own particular ancestors arrived here as a result of Tolstoy’s largesse, but I’d love to think he did.

The Doukhobors believed certain things. One, they covered their heads because it contained an energy that wasn’t dissipated by being bare headed (and also gave the impression of a humility). Two, we arrived in this world with nothing, and should depart it with nothing (no possessions…which sounds a bit John Lennon). As a result they were quite accepting of the naked state.

Nudity, or nude protest, would play a large role in the Doukhobors (or their sub-sect, the Freedomites), particularly in respect of call ups for military service (note that the naked protests pictured above mostly date from the 1940s/1950s, by which point the Duokhobors are well assimilated into Canadian life).

I’m quite proud that my forebears embraced a life of peace, a life if anti-materialism. I came to nudism quite independently of the knowledge that they were comfortable with their own nudity. When I subsequently learned of their relaxed acceptance of the naked state my first thought was ‘wow!!!! Is there something in the genes????’

Amaliya embraces historic Doukhobor styled clothing, as well as an easy acceptance of her naked state.

I’m looking forward to contributing further to SLN2, and I hope I can repay the faith shown in me by Ella.

Amaliya

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