Readers' letters - August 19
Burkinis are not burkas
I’m not sure why burkinis have been banned in some parts of France as every picture I have seen of them the face is perfectly apparent.
So is it really a security or safety risk?
Burkas I dislike as the face is entirely covered and this is obviously a security issue, especially in countries which have had a terrorist attack.
I’m not sure why it’s seen as a religious dress or should be associated with any religion.
Many women – secular, spiritual and/or religious – feel self-conscious wearing a swimming costume, let alone a bikini.
This tends to be because of feelings a woman has with her body rather than ideas about ‘modesty’.
A lot of women are happy wearing a dress or shorts but feel self-conscious in a costume. I myself will wear one in a swimming pool but on a beach?
If burkinis had more of a secular, colourful image, more women would buy one. France would feel happier if it lost its religious connotations, self-conscious women would feel more comfortable – whether it’s in a pool or on the beach – and it could provide protection for skin cancer and potential sea pollution.
Oh, and manufacturers and retailers would sell more, to non-Muslims as well as Muslims.
Real tolerance would be a beach where bikinis and burkinis would be perfectly acceptable.
Win win for all.
Treatment of elephants
World Elephant Day took place this month and I would like to bring your readers’ attention to the plight of elephants used in tourism, festivals and temples across India and South East Asia.
Baby and calf elephants are often beaten to death with hammers, iron bars and knives as part of their training for a life of abuse in tourism, festivals and temples.
The organisation Save The Asian Elephants is working to raise public awareness and to exert influence on governments and the tourist industry to stop these brutal activities.
n Visit www.stae.org
Extra cash for NHS?
Having recently returned from a holiday in Sunny Beach Bulgaria, I was amazed to discover that a regular packet of paracetamol cost me £2.25.
Last year in Alcudia, Majorca, I was charged more than £3.
Supermarkets in these countries do not stock medicines, and always direct you to the chemist.
Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here.
If we were to do the same and charged a similar amount for visitors without a national insurance number, would this be a shot in the arm for NHS funding?
One final point for visitors to Sunny Beach.
The little plastic card we are advised to take with us abroad for emergency medical treatment is not accepted in this resort where all medical facilities are private.
I know this to my cost.
The card is only accepted in the state hospital in the airport region of Bourgas.
Also please make sure that you have your certificate of insurance and are able to contact them from your resort.