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

  1. #21
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brioche View Post

    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! .
    Believe it or not in some towns in Mexico that is still happening. And yes, people get up at 6 0'clock in the morning and take a shower in winter. It is true that we do not have extreme cold winters but zero degrees C is cold enough to take a shower in those conditions!

  2. #22
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    I can't speak for every Russian family, and obviously very much depends on water supply, which can be really bad in some regions of the country.

    But in my family, and in the families of my relatives, it's normal to take a shower every day. If I can't take a shower due to hot water outage, for example, I feel simply miserable.
    Anna

  3. #23
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by ernest_ View Post
    I never stay less than 30 minutes under the shower myself.
    Good heavens!!!
    would it be rude to ask what you do all that time?

    Judging from comments in this thread, i'd say we should address a message of congratulations to the advertizers who, in less than 30 years, have succeeded in persuading the wealthy parts of the world that natural human skin is offensive, that we cannot possibly appear in public without making use of hectolitres of hot water and innumerable chemical products at inflated prices.

    Unfortunately, the less wealthy parts of the world will soon be following the same path, until we run out of water or the energy to heat it.

    MS

  4. #24
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaska Ñawi View Post
    How often do people shower or bathe in your culture?
    That's hard to say, quite frankly I never ask people how often they bathe.

    The Indo-Dutch (Euro-Asians/'Indische Nederlanders') have always had a reputation for personal cleanliness, even before taking daily showers became the norm in Holland.

    Up until the 1970s, some (many?) people only bathed once a week, but in my family daily showers have always been the norm. I really do hate body odor, especially while traveling on a crowded bus or train!

  5. #25
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    I met some time ago some people from India, and they took a bath just one or two times a week (specially on saturdays I think). The rest of the week they cleaned themselves (I don't remember what they used) and they cleaned their hair with talcum powder. I took acknowledge of this, because they told a friend of mine that they did this as part of a religious custom. They were from the southern part of India, but I can't remember the religion they practiced.
    So I think it's interesting that the fact of taking a bath can be attached not only to economical circumstances but also to religious circumstances.

    EB
    Last edited by elizabeth_b; 16th August 2007 at 12:31 AM. Reason: correction

  6. #26
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    We have a shower everyday in Argentina...and we spend a lot of time.

    Luckily...we have water (so far).
    "We're all ignorant of something"

  7. #27
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    In Chile (my family, my friends, those I know) take a shower every morning, I don't know many people who have a bath or that use it. Sometimes, when I had Sports at school, I would take my usual shower in the morning, another one at school and another one at night at home.

    I can't speak for the UK, because London is a multicultural city. I've got a Belgium friend who I lived with for a while and I only ever heard him say 'I'm going to wash my hair' lol. I've lived with a German guy who goes and comes back from his shower in about 20 seconds! Everyone has a bath at home in here and hardly anyone has a shower thingy, which I find quite irritating. I know that many people here only spray themselves with loads of chemicals instead of a shower.

    I lived with a Colombian Family in London and they would always shower/bath at night as opposed to the morning. But I think that's more about the weather.

    @scotinfrance: agreed.
    Last edited by Wuasaby; 16th August 2007 at 4:42 AM. Reason: adding the last bit.

  8. #28
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by scotinfrance View Post
    have succeeded in persuading the wealthy parts of the world that natural human skin is offensive
    Definitions of what is 'natural' and what is not vary greatly from one society to another and cannot be objectified. How often do you need to wash to keep your skin in a 'natural' state? Every day or once a week, month, or year? In the Middle Ages, many Europeans - wealthy or not - hardly ever washed, unlike the ancient Greeks and Romans, for instance. Members of the Aztec nobility were quite horrified by the personal habits of the Spanish conquistadors, who had forgotten what a bath was since the Moors left. The Japanese, too, have always been very keen on personal hygiene.

    In the 18th century, Europeans splashed themselves with perfume to cover up their body odor because they believed washing was bad for their skin. The perfume industry flourished as a result.

    It would be wrong to assume that personal hygiene is only for the rich. In many parts of the tropics, people tend to be scrupulously clean and those who do not have access to modern bathrooms are often very inventive. They use small amounts of water to pour over themselves and in some countries it isn't unusual to see people taking a bath in the river.

    When I visited Yucatán a couple of years ago I was amazed by the cleanliness of the people; some of the Mayans still live in very simple huts without any basic facilities and they have got a serious water shortage on the peninsula as well. But their huipiles (traditional women's garments) were always spotlessly white, and they appeared to bathe regularly (no body odor). Kudos to the Yucatecos for managing so well on so very little!
    Last edited by Tetabiakti; 16th August 2007 at 2:47 PM.

  9. #29
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonquiliser View Post
    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
    OK, and traditionally the days for taking a sauna are Wednesday and Saturday (and after the sauna watching Urheiluruutu / the Sports news). ...Though in my family the sauna is heated almost every day! So we are pretty clean ;-)

  10. #30
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by scotinfrance View Post
    Judging from comments in this thread, i'd say we should address a message of congratulations to the advertizers who, in less than 30 years, have succeeded in persuading the wealthy parts of the world that natural human skin is offensive, that we cannot possibly appear in public without making use of hectolitres of hot water and innumerable chemical products at inflated prices.
    Then, I would grant the Nobel Prize of Phisiology and Medicine to those advertisers.

    Their service to makind is beyond value.
    Only a Spanish speaker. If you need an exact translation, wait for better opinions.

  11. #31
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Originally Posted by scotinfrance
    Judging from comments in this thread, i'd say we should address a message of congratulations to the advertizers who, in less than 30 years, have succeeded in persuading the wealthy parts of the world that natural human skin is offensive, that we cannot possibly appear in public without making use of hectolitres of hot water and innumerable chemical products at inflated prices.
    Dirty skin, dirty clothes, dirty teeth, dirty smell, greasy hair infested with lice are quite offensive everywhere I've been, from Portugal to Australia. Being clean is not a human trait: even apes clean themselves, and one another, scrupulously. I kind of doubt they've seen any of those advertisements you mention - and wouldn't understand them if they did.
    In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep. I am a platypus.

  12. #32
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    There is a big difference between being infested with lice and not having a shower/bath everyday. I think that scotinfrance's point is that an over-obsession with cleanliness to the point that the human body is seen as something dirty is not very healthy either.

  13. #33
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by cloudy_ View Post
    There is a big difference between being infested with lice and not having a shower/bath everyday. I think that scotinfrance's point is that an over-obsession with cleanliness to the point that the human body is seen as something dirty is not very healthy either.
    But having a shower every day does not mean over-obsession with cleanliness.
    It is not necesary to use hectolitres of water and inmumerable chemical products to keep ourselves clean.
    Obsessive cleaning is an illness, indeed. But none of us is suffering from any obsessive-compulsive disorder because we take a shower every night. And I don't think any of us see our bodies as dirty things that have to be scrubbed.
    In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep. I am a platypus.

  14. #34
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    I never did read scotinfrance say anything against 'cleaning or washing' yourself. I think it's more of a 'pro-natural life against chemicals and unnecessary products' sort of view.

    I do believe that humans are by nature clean, obviously if something that doesn't belong to your body, you want to get rid of it. If your body is full of dirt, and you smell, you want to get rid of it, and a bit of spring water will do. What he means is that, in very little time, the media have convinced us that water isn't enough and that we need pre-wash chemicals, washing chemicals and after-wash chemicals. Day chemicals and night chemicals. Summer time chemicals and winter time chemicals. People spray themselves with deodorants which are full of Aluminium and alcohol and inhale it without realising. Now, how 'clean' is their body now?

    Funnily enough we went to a festival over the weekend with my friends. We're all alternative, anti-chemical, etc... except one girl who baths herself in these sprays and creams and chemicals. It might have been a coincidence, but somehow, she woke up the next morning full of red marks from little insects which didn't even come close to the rest of us. I believe it's because all those chemicals kill her antibodies and self-defence as well as 'wash her' : )

  15. #35
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Well, some basics: My body (just to get clear that is not a personal subject) after a normal daywork (white-collar) of sweat under the clothes IS DIRT.

    The smelt is basically, the by-product of the corruption (bacteria-inducted) of the sweat plus some feromonae.

    I do not doubt some people is irrationally washing themselves ten times a day, but once a day in OK (and your expenditure in "chemicals" is negligible).

    People spray themselves with deodorants which are full of Aluminium and alcohol and inhale it without realising.
    I am unaware of the Aluminium thing, but I could say that the medium Earth-dweller "inhales" more alcohol by other means without paying so much attention to the harm to their health .

    which didn't even come close to the rest of us. I believe it's because all those chemicals kill her antibodies and self-defence as well as 'wash her' : )
    Well, let us say I have an "alternative" explanation on why the little insects did not get close to you. Kidding.
    Only a Spanish speaker. If you need an exact translation, wait for better opinions.

  16. #36
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexacohen View Post
    But having a shower every day does not mean over-obsession with cleanliness.
    It is not necesary to use hectolitres of water and inmumerable chemical products to keep ourselves clean.
    Obsessive cleaning is an illness, indeed. But none of us is suffering from any obsessive-compulsive disorder because we take a shower every night. And I don't think any of us see our bodies as dirty things that have to be scrubbed.
    Me neither. I have a shower every day but I don't think that people who don't do the same must have dirty skin and lice. I could have five (or ten) showers a day if I wanted to but that would be unnecessary in my opinion. Likewise, there are those who think it's unnecessary to bathe/shower every day. I know that for my parents' generation that was definitely the case, so something has changed since then. Bear in mind I'm talking from the perspective of living in a cold Northern European country. Obviously in Southern Spain and more tropical parts of the world it's much easier to get sweaty.

  17. #37
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    You get sweaty under the clothes even in colder climates. I am more sweaty in winter with heavy clothes than in summer with more light clothes.

    In our parents or grandparents generation to have a cold shower every day was both heroic and expensive.

    Our grandgrandparents did not have in many cases a WC or running water and they did not make a big deal on that. They died of dyarrhea on the millions but the survivors did not feel the impulse to wash themselves.

    Thanks God and doctors, we learned in 19th century how the diseases spread and the herds of insects and rats have largely disappeared.

    Moreover, economic growth has allowed that (in W countries) to have a shower is both pleasant and cheap. So, why do not enjoy such a possibility?
    Only a Spanish speaker. If you need an exact translation, wait for better opinions.

  18. #38
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by cloudy_ View Post
    I have a shower every day but I don't think that people who don't do the same must have dirty skin and lice.
    Ok, let's get things straight: my little daughter has a shower only twice a week at the most, and so does one of my nieces. They cannot shower every day as their skins would develop rash if they did. No chemicals for them, either. Just glicerine soap and olive oil.
    It goes without saying that I don't think they must have dirty skins or lice.
    In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep. I am a platypus.

  19. #39
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fernando View Post
    I do not doubt some people is irrationally washing themselves ten times a day, but once a day is OK
    I don't understand what is rational and what isn't. As someone explained earlier, for some cultures and ages, it's been completely 'normal' to wash maybe once or twice a year. They would consider you absolutely mental if they knew you showered every day. Why do you have the right to say that someone who washes ten times a day is doing something irrational? (And please note the my curious tone as opposed to aggressive lol)

    […]

    And LOL @ the joke haha :P
    Last edited by wildan1; 2nd November 2014 at 1:53 PM. Reason: Dead link and related quote removed

  20. #40
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    Re: personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexacohen View Post
    Ok, let's get things straight: my little daughter has a shower only twice a week at the most, and so does one of my nieces. They cannot shower every day as their skins would develop rash if they did. No chemicals for them, either. Just glicerine soap and olive oil.
    It goes without saying that I don't think they must have dirty skins or lice.
    I can totally believe you. In the same way, I don't think that most people who don't shower/bathe every day have dirty skin or lice either (obviously some do). Again, I'm talking from a North Atlantic rather than a Mediterranean or sub-tropical perspective.

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