cultural prostitution

The Reservoir Area of the Three Gorges in deep China historically used to have mobility helpers for their barges and lighters.

Since its landscape is folded, winding  and complicated, helping shipping upstream from the river banks was not easy, even for beasts. Traditionally, Baoding County, a mountaineous area of gorges and narrow passes, used to contemplate nude boat trackers pulling boats. The ancestral reason not to wear clothes was that they walk within the river all day long, their clothes would be torn down by the rope and the wet fibre would stick and rip open their skin easily; plus there are few people along the riverside, so trackers decide not to wear anything for the convenience of work. [Annie Lee, china hush]

After starting to fade with the nearby megalomaniac construction of the biggest dam in the world, there was no longer this need for such a denigrating job. However, local authorities decided to relaunch this practice last month, so that it would attract a boom of tourists, anxious to be moved upstream by sweating nude bodies.

restitution of cultural tradition or introduction of sex tourism?

[image 1> boattrackers in Three Gorges via cqhostel] [images 2,3&4> chinese nude boat trackers by people.com.cn via chinahush]

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