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Thread: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

  1. #1
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    personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    The only thread (that I have found at WR) referring to my question is this one http://forum.wordreference.com/showt...hygiene&page=2 but I don't think the general question was really answered there. That's why I've decided to start a new thread. I hope no one minds it and that I don't break any rules. (If so, I am sorry .)



    My family's acquaintance went, as an exchange student, to Belgium (just for a short time - maybe one or two weeks). She's been talking about it recently and told us that she had a shower every day (which, I thought, everyone must consider normal and usual!) when she was in Belgium, in the host family and on the day of her departure for the Czech Republic the host family gave her a small present - a set of sponges (for bathing) (+ maybe some soaps etc.) - saying that she must love water and showering when she has a shower every day!

    When the girl from Belgium came to the Czech Rep., she showered only two times a week (at least this is what my friend said). Moreover, they went on trips etc. and showering only two times a week, when you're sweaty, seems to be a little .... "unusual" to me.

    What do you think about it?

    How often do you usually have a shower? Do you find it normal to have a shower every day? Or even twice a day?


    (By the way, I'm sorry for my English and all the mistakes I've made. Feel free to correct me, please! )
    Korrigiert mich bitte! Danke.

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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Are you saying Belgians are fine with showering twice a week My fellow Belgian boarders will be sure to agree that this isn't the fact.

    Quite everyone I know takes a shower every day, or every other day maybe.

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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Moderator Note: You're right about the question not being really addressed before - the original thread started with a stereotype, produced a lot of chat, and had to be closed.

    If this one is to remain open, the question needs to be rephrased from "How often do you take a shower or bath?" to the following:

    How often do people shower or bathe in your culture?

    Discussion can involve water conservation, when it is considered essential to have a shower (ie, after running that marathon), availability of hot water, and what constitutes dirt in your culture (do you live in an area that thinks you're dirty after a day in the office, or are you allowed a bit more slack?)

    Please avoid personal perspectives such as "I shower daily" so that we can keep this thread open. Thank you for your cooperation.
    "The trouble with normal is it always gets worse." Bruce Cockburn

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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    How often people shower can depend on how good the hot water supply is where they live.

    In modern Australia, most people would have a shower every day. In hot weather often more frequently.

    I have heard people discuss the "good old days" when people had chip-heaters.

    Apparently they were an Australian and New Zealand speciality.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chip_heater

    To have a shower, you had to get small pieces of wood [chips], and light a small fire in the heater, and wait for the water to heat before you could have a shower.

    The chip heaters were on the outside of the house. So imagine doing that at 6 am in the winter! A quick wipe of the salient features, with water from a kettle would have to do.
    Bibo, ergo sum.

  5. #5
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    In Spain it´s mostly shower, and of course every day. The discussion it´s not how many times do you have a shower a week, as everybody assumes is one each day, but if it is better to shower in the morning or in the evening.
    Small children have a bath, but when they are very small. People are encouraged to have showers and not baths, to save water.
    Of course there are people who don´t shower every day, and there are people who don´t wash their teeth either, but they´re the exception, and not the rule.
    In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep. I am a platypus.

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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexacohen View Post
    In Spain it´s mostly shower, and of course every day. The discussion it´s not how many times do you have a shower a week, as everybody assumes is one each day, but if it is better to shower in the morning or in the evening.
    Small children have a bath, but when they are very small. People are encouraged to have showers and not baths, to save water.
    Of course there are people who don´t shower every day, and there are people who don´t wash their teeth either, but they´re the exception, and not the rule.
    I totally agree, sister Alexa. And when it's really hot in the summertime, it's also very common to shower morning and evening. I read once that Spain is the country in Europe where more soap is used.

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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    I haven't researched the matter, but it seems to me that most Swedish young people shower much more often than I do, some even every day.

    During my first school year or two, my class (boys and girls) went to the central school community bath for a scrub (in separate mini-tubs) once a month or perhaps every other month. I didn't think it was remarkable enough to remember the frequency. Some of us had showers or bathtubs at home, but had to go there anyway. At the age of 7 or 8, we had no problems with being nude together.

    Quote Originally Posted by chaska
    How often do people shower or bathe in your culture?
    How the soandso do you suppose anyone to know about others? It isn't a thing you discuss on every encounter, I think. I can't even guess the way and frequency my closest relatives and friends perform ablutions. An exception might be mother (91). She normally calls me (we live in the same house) when she's about to take a shower, so that I'll be close to the wireless alarm we've set up, should she fall and need help. Once a week perhaps, not too dissimilar to my frequency. Please keep in mind that neither of us had the possibility to take a shower or a bath when just feeling like it when we grew up. Moreover, most of the year in Sweden, we don't even find it possible to work up a sweat. Things are, however, changing with global warming.

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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Linni View Post
    The only thread (that I have found at WR) referring to my question is this one http://forum.wordreference.com/showt...hygiene&page=2 but I don't think the general question was really answered there. That's why I've decided to start a new thread. I hope no one minds it and that I don't break any rules. (If so, I am sorry .)



    My family's acquaintance went, as an exchange student, to Belgium (just for a short time - maybe one or two weeks). She's been talking about it recently and told us that she had a shower every day (which, I thought, everyone must consider normal and usual!) when she was in Belgium, in the host family and on the day of her departure for the Czech Republic the host family gave her a small present - a set of sponges (for bathing) (+ maybe some soaps etc.) - saying that she must love water and showering when she has a shower every day!

    When the girl from Belgium came to the Czech Rep., she showered only two times a week (at least this is what my friend said). Moreover, they went on trips etc. and showering only two times a week, when you're sweaty, seems to be a little .... "unusual" to me.

    What do you think about it?

    How often do you usually have a shower? Do you find it normal to have a shower every day? Or even twice a day?


    (By the way, I'm sorry for my English and all the mistakes I've made. Feel free to correct me, please! )
    No problem with your English.

    I was actually going to post a similar thread here before, but never did.

    In the U.S. we have what others might consider an "obsessive-compulsive" attitude towards showering. Most people consider bathing daily ESSENTIAL and anything else "gross". Showering every other day is not acceptable. I personally don't think this way today, but during my more self-conscious and insecure middle school years, I always said I would refuse to go to school if unable to get a shower in the morning (which was a real possibility with our old well).

    Some people even take two showers a day, if they were physically active in some way.

  9. #9
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    As a child, in the 1950s, we had a bath every week, probably.
    To have a bath, the water had to be heated.
    Our only means of heating water was a coal fire.

    When my children were children, in the 1970s, they had a bath every few days. We did too.
    We had friends from Australia who bathed their children every day. They were odd.

    Today, bath or shower every day is the norm.

  10. #10
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Hi,

    Here in Perú, most people take a shower daily, except perhaps in small towns where plumb water (not only hot water) is not readily available.

    Regards,
    La única manera de no saber, es no querer saber.

  11. #11
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Linni View Post
    My family's acquaintance went, as an exchange student, to Belgium (just for a short time - maybe one or two weeks). She's been talking about it recently and told us that she had a shower every day (which, I thought, everyone must consider normal and usual!) when she was in Belgium, in the host family and on the day of her departure for the Czech Republic the host family gave her a small present - a set of sponges (for bathing) (+ maybe some soaps etc.) - saying that she must love water and showering when she has a shower every day!

    When the girl from Belgium came to the Czech Rep., she showered only two times a week (at least this is what my friend said). Moreover, they went on trips etc. and showering only two times a week, when you're sweaty, seems to be a little .... "unusual" to me.
    I agree with HKK that this wouldn't be considered the 'normal' thing in Belgium. A daily shower is about standard, I think. Or at least a daily wash. I suppose there could be families where people wash themselves aan de lavabo every day and take a shower on a weekly basis.

  12. #12
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    So the standard's one shower a day in the Western urban world, or so it seems. But another question is how long it takes a shower in different parts of the world. I am amazed that some people can have a shower in less than 5 minutes, including all the dressing and undressing and so on. I never stay less than 30 minutes under the shower myself.

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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by ernest_ View Post
    So the standard's one shower a day in the Western urban world, or so it seems. But another question is how long it takes a shower in different parts of the world. I am amazed that some people can have a shower in less than 5 minutes, including all the dressing and undressing and so on. I never stay less than 30 minutes under the shower myself.
    That is a good point, Ernest!

    I am also amazed at the people who are able to shower, dress and get ready in less than, let's say, fifteen minutes.

    If you go to the stores nowadays you'll see the huge quantity of products for personal care. Many people cover themselves in body lotion, foot cream, anticellulitis cream, face mosturizer, eye cream, you name it... And that takes ages... We women take about three quarters of an hour, more or less.

    What do you think?

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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by TraductoraPobleSec View Post
    I am also amazed at the people who are able to shower, dress and get ready in less than, let's say, fifteen minutes.

    If you go to the stores nowadays you'll see the huge quantity of products for personal care. Many people cover themselves in body lotion, foot cream, anticellulitis cream, face mosturizer, eye cream, you name it... And that takes ages... We women take about three quarters of an hour, more or less.
    Hi Traductora!

    Men usually go faster than that, I reckon. Many men of my age do not even shave every day, and also there's the long-short hair factor. Men normally have their hair cut shorter than women, and short hair requires less attention. As for creams, lotions and that sort of stuff I don't know much aboot it, but I think there are a lot of marketing efforts going on trying to push these things on blokes, although without much success so far.

    Anyway, I think three quarters of an hour is long enough. Maybe I'll be more kind to women from now on and tell them that they look good. I mean, it's fair enough, if they care so much about looking good somebody's got to tell them that they do.

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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by ernest_ View Post
    As for creams, lotions and that sort of stuff I don't know much aboot it, but I think there are a lot of marketing efforts going on trying to push these things on blokes, although without much success so far.

    Anyway, I think three quarters of an hour is long enough. Maybe I'll be more kind to women from now on and tell them that they look good. I mean, it's fair enough, if they care so much about looking good somebody's got to tell them that they do.
    You're right in all the things you say; I believe; and it's true, the "pampering oneself" factor is now being extended to men.

  16. #16
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by TraductoraPobleSec View Post
    That is a good point, Ernest!

    I am also amazed at the people who are able to shower, dress and get ready in less than, let's say, fifteen minutes.

    If you go to the stores nowadays you'll see the huge quantity of products for personal care. Many people cover themselves in body lotion, foot cream, anticellulitis cream, face mosturizer, eye cream, you name it... And that takes ages... We women take about three quarters of an hour, more or less.

    What do you think?
    I understand that some men, especially in Paris, have the same routine as women nowadays. Even in Asia, you can see these products for men in some big cities. For people my mother's age (mid 50s), this is something unthinkable, she already had a hard time understanding my sister's and my daily routines, not to mention that of a man's.
    Getting old is such sweet sorrow...Nichec & Shakespeare

  17. #17
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    It depends on the weather and well, exertion . In summer hitting the shower at least twice a day is normal while in winter having a shower every other day is normal too. More (or less) exertion means more (or less) showers but, apart from some older people who can't easily break out of the habbit of having fewer showers/baths, not less that once every other day.

    What we won't do every time is our hair since shampooing your hair twice a day is not only a chore but a bit of a trial for your scalp. Every other day or once a day (depending on circumstances) is the most usual rate for hair washing.

    I don't know how long people take to shower in general. From personal experience I can only comment that some people are fast and some are not regardless of sex or the usage of creams, lotions and such. The how dirty one felt before is also a factor I guess (spend a long day running around in a city full of smog and summer or not you will feel the need to enjoy the feel of running water on you for a longer time; take a shower just because it's time for a shower and you won't spend any more time than you really need to).

    Edit: Baths are not very popular here. The main reasons being a) it's not as if our water resources are abudant b) most of us feel the need to have a nice shower and scrub really well before having a bath so the whole thing becomes a bit of a bother.
    Last edited by ireney; 12th August 2007 at 11:11 PM.
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    It seems the modern, statistical average Finn is rather unimaginative in this: my perception would be once-a-day is taken as a nearly metaphysical ideal of hygiene and purity . Another statistical assumption is the weekly sauna visit. (It's not even all that uncommon that flats have their own saunas, rather than a common sauna for a whole building...). Then, after these deep contemplations about the concept of hygiene Finnish people have, come all the "exceptions". I for one. I don't think I use very much more time than 15 in total for showering and all that, and it certainly doesn't add up to 1h 35 minutes a week
    Nixtieq nitgħallem Malti

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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by panjandrum View Post
    As a child, in the 1950s, we had a bath every week, probably.
    To have a bath, the water had to be heated.
    Our only means of heating water was a coal fire.

    When my children were children, in the 1970s, they had a bath every few days. We did too.
    We had friends from Australia who bathed their children every day. They were odd.

    Today, bath or shower every day is the norm.
    I *so* agree with you, panj.

    Once a week (on a Sunday) was our bath-time regime in the 50s and 60s. My parents' house never had a shower, so that wouldn't have been an option.

    I only began to have daily showers/baths when I lived in Spain in the mid-70s.

    I assume that this was what gave rise to the Aussie expression "stinking Poms" (= smelly Brits) .....

    Loob

  20. #20
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    I think that the tendency has been for showers to become more frequent in the last 20-30 years, as more hot water is available in more areas.

    I shower daily, and so do most people I know. My parents seldom took a bath more than once a week, however, and they never used the shower.

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