The peculiar bathroom habits of Westerners

#1
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20191004...westerners

EXCERPT: “As Arabs we have to make sure we have three things when we pack: our passports, a bunch of cash, and a handheld portable bidet,” joked Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef during his debut UK performance in June. He waved around a portable spray hose, also known as a shattaf or “bum gun”, as a prop. “I don’t get it: you guys are one of the most advanced countries in the world. But when it comes to the behind, you’re behind.”

Plenty of people would agree with Youssef. The penchant in many Western countries for wiping after using the toilet – rather than rinsing off – is a source of puzzlement around the world. Water cleans more neatly than paper ... Plus, while toilet tissue may not be as harsh as pieces of ceramic (used by ancient Greeks) or corn cobs (used by colonial Americans), we can all agree that water is less abrasive than even the softest five-ply.

Residents of many nations have long been ending a toilet visit with water. And that isn’t just true of the non-Western world. The French of course gave the world the word bidet, and even though the devices are fading away from France, they remain standard in Italy, Argentina, and many other places. Meanwhile, Youssef’s beloved “bum gun” is commonly found in Finland.

Still, much of the West relies on toilet tissue – including the UK and US. And compared to anywhere else in the world, these two nations have had the greatest influence on modern bathroom culture, notes architectural historian Barbara Penner in her book Bathroom. In fact, Anglo-American bathroom trends became so widespread that, in the 1920s, they were even dubbed “sanitary imperialism”.

Even so, those trends didn’t penetrate everywhere. Water is preferred, for example, in a number of majority-Muslim countries, as Islamic teachings include the use of water for cleaning. (Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs did however issue a fatwa in 2015 specifying that Muslims can use toilet paper if water isn’t available.) And the famously whiz-bang modern Japanese toilets, which simultaneously reflect technological ingenuity and shame about bodily functions, offer both wetting and drying options.

One person who’s been interested in the water-or-paper debate is Zul Othman ... As Othman’s research shows, some Muslim Australians have adapted to Western-style bathrooms by using both toilet paper and then showering, filling a jug of water, or installing handheld bidets next to their toilets. This is the case for people of non-Islamic religious backgrounds too. ... Othman has witnessed the stubborn Western insistence on using some form of paper...

Meanwhile, the family of podcaster and metal guitarist Kaiser Kuo have adopted a hybrid solution. Three years ago they moved from Beijing to the US – where, like many new arrivals, they retained some Chinese habits and picked up some American ones. Kuo was shocked at how much loo roll his kids started going through in keeping with Americans’ status as, by far, the world’s foremost consumers of toilet paper. (MORE)

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Back in 2010, a team at the University of British Columbia pointed out that psychology research contains a major flaw: much of it is based on samples entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic – or Weird – societies. The researchers often assumed that their findings would be applicable to people anywhere. But when they did a review, the university team found that from reasoning styles to visual perception, members of Weird societies are, in fact, “among the least representative populations one could find for generalising about humans”.

From the mainstream media to academia, however, it remains common to see the Weird as “normal” – or at least as a “standard” against which other cultures, and people, are judged. In this series, we dig into what this looks like in everyday life. What habits and ways of thinking are common in Weird societies that people living elsewhere in the world might find, well, weird? And what does this tell us, not only about cultural differences, but about ourselves? From when we shower to how we shop, this series re-examines the behaviours often taken for granted – and explores how the “standard” is rarely the best, or only, way.
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#2
(Oct 8, 2019 07:36 PM)C C Wrote: EXCERPT: “As Arabs we have to make sure we have three things when we pack: our passports, a bunch of cash, and a handheld portable bidet,” joked Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef during his debut UK performance in June. He waved around a portable spray hose, also known as a shattaf or “bum gun”, as a prop. “I don’t get it: you guys are one of the most advanced countries in the world. But when it comes to the behind, you’re behind.”

Yeah, right.

We're supposed to accept anal hygiene instructions from people that only eat with their right hands, because they wipe their asses with their left?

Nope. Don't think so.

https://dohanews.co/qtip-why-arabs-dont-...eft-hands/

http://dakinewavamon.blogspot.com/2006/0...se-of.html

https://www.arabamerica.com/dinner-etiqu...b-culture/

https://islamqa.info/en/answers/82120/th...r-the-left
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#3
"In most public toilets with bidets, towels are provided on a ring next to it." - https://advancemyhouse.com/how-do-you-dr...idet-user/

So either use TP, single-use (hopefully) towels, or an air dryer to dry off? I'll stick with TP and wet wipes, thanks.
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