Re: Saunas

From: Peter Larsen <plarsen_at_tGay3NMuZEtrFfxTEVhkki4suwDeDaKFnvp98ZYhqp_iGhMUy3g4mMyKh3vShnvLE73Q>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 12:14:39 -0600

Otto Leppa says to me:

> > The pleasure for the men could be emerging from the warm (but
>> stifling) heat of the Earth/Mahome into the cool free air -- the
>> sauna is a place where the "woman's world" lets you free yourself
>> dirt and fatigue and return to the open air refreshed. A man who
>> spends too much time in the sauna, of course, leaves himself open
>> "Nandan" and "Humakt" jokes.
>Now this is plain silly and kinda offensive to a finn. Sauna as a
>institution is _very_ masculine (it's the hardest and most masculine
>men who are enthusiastics in the real world after all). Glorantha is
>perhaps different in some forms of cultural behaviour but please do
>not desecrate this one (not that making something feminine is bad -
>it is just that misunderstanding of sauna would be that).

        The idea on the table was that Orlanthi men might not enjoy closing themselves up in small rooms (kind of Earth-like) filled with steam and heat (Fire (and Water, sort of)) when men, in Heortling culture, are drawn to the wind and open places. I was trying to get a sense of what "Airy" men would see in such a practice. I think the Heorlings ought to have saunas -- lots of big hairy guys all pink from the heat leaping out into the snow and cold air and having a good time. It's also a great setting for drama -- an ambush, for example, or Clan Ring political stuff. So how to get around the "runic issues?"

        Also it's worth remembering that, among the Heortlings, "masculine and feminine" don't have all the same associations as they do in the western RW. Heortling men are expected to be emotional while women are expected to be hard headed and practical, as one example. Humakti, by their cold natures, are "womanly." (Not that I think "feminine" is a remotely derogatory term in the RW, either.)

        Anyway, I am completely in favor of Heortling saunas, and I think most steads should have them. Orlanth spent time in Ernalda's company, surely there's no harm in a nice sauna -- especially since there's such a rush afterwards. Plus you feel and smell better. The exact type of sauna I'll leave to the "fanatics" on the list, although I really like the idea of a culture clash between lowland Imperial saunas and upland Heortling saunas. "Procopius! I asked for a nice steam bath, and they tried to roast me! There were no scraper-boys! Then they beat me! Call the centurions!"

Peter Larsen            

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