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Seaside, summer, sunshine, these words are mostly connected to women wearing bikinis. According to Olivier Saillard, French fashion historian: "The emancipation of swimwear has always been linked to the emancipation of women. “ When dealing with opinion, we can agree to disagree, but bikini is the most popular beachwear around the globe.
Nevertheless, there are countries where bathing suits are more conservative. Not only women aren't supposed to show almost everything, but also men are expected to be modest.
In Islam, awrah is a part of the body that must be covered by Muslims. For men, the awrah is from the middle part of the body ( (called navel) to the knees. For women, if they can be seen by strangers, they are expected to cover everything, except hands and face. Muslim women are expected not to put on bikini, or any other swimming suit exposing their awrah to people. Women are not restricted to swim at the beach in Arabic countries; the problem is to combine their tradition with a comfortable, flexible swimwear.
This crucial problem was solved by Aheda Zanetti a Lebanese-Australian designer in 2003. She created the so called “burqini/burkini”, a special swimsuit designed for Muslim women.
We are mistaken, if we think that in only Arabic countries women wearing modest bathing suit.
Swimsuit culture in Taiwan is also rather conservative. Though it is accepted donning bikini,
people (men and women) put on one piece suits with shorts, or even long sleeve t-shirts and shorts at the beach.
Unfortunately, Thailand has got recently a slightly bad reputation on doubtful lifestyle, especially in term of tourism. However, topless or nude sunbathing or swimming is entirely not acceptable. A one piece swimsuit for ladies would be considered and in the countryside the visitor should swim fully clothed as the locals do.