Iceland sits on a hot bed of geothermal activity. Naturally heated water (65% of Iceland's energy supply is geothermal) feeds hot tubs throughout the country. Swimming pools form part of their public health policy. Kids are taught to swim very early on. Senior citizens and regular people go and swim on a regular basis to the point that lounging around in swimming pools by the ocean and hot springs is a national past-time. Instead of going to a pub or the park, Icelanders like to gather in their local pool to get fresh air and discuss world politics and local issues.
Sitting in a pool, semi-naked, means that all the trappings associated with class or wealth through one's clothing are gone. You are who you are, nothing more and nothing less. You leave your status outside. There is no VIP section. Everybody is the same. The cell phone is also left outside and people actually talk to one another. One can make a lot of friends in the pool. It is a place for socialising and meeting. I guess being naked makes you less inhibited about connecting.
Swimming in the cold ocean and then jumping into a natural hot tub is really an idyllic image. You feel reborn and it feels like you have changed your skin!! It's almost like when you use our BOA Exfoliant! It is done in a beautiful setting right next to ocean and you can't help but feel at one with nature.You escape from worrying about how your body looks as you embrace the positive impact of seeing "real" bodies, perfectly imperfect. This truly turns Icelanders into free spirits.
As Icelanders transitioned from a farming economy to a fishing nation, learning to swim became an essential part of their culture. Swimming is mandatory from the age of 6 until 16 when everyone is tested to prove they can swim 600 meters unassisted.
Iceland is typically a reserved nation. Their long winters and not so warm summers makes people not so chatty but strip them off their clothes in their natural hot tubs and all of a sudden they are making friends left and right. These pools and hot tubs foster health in mind and body as well as a sense of equality which elevates Iceland in spite of their colder weather to one of the happiest countries in the world.
Sourced from a report on BBC.