Saturday, December 09, 2006

Toilets of the World

I was reading one of Pondering Pig's recent posts on microcredit - something I am a STRONG supporter of...but was intrigued by the title: "Do You have a Sanitary Latrine?" My first thought was to wonder how clean my bathroom, let's not go there. My next thought was to remember the porcelain squat toilet I saw in Egypt. I was routinely directed to bathrooms with traditional western toilets. But the public restrooms in the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities had both kinds, with the western stalls being more recent additions. These would not encourage magazine reading, eh? Also, the hotels I stayed in had bidets which was rather interesting.

When I taught an online class on sociology of race & ethnicity I had a unit on cross cultural toilets just to get the students recognizing our way is not the only way that things are done. Don't know what I ever did with that file of photos...surely they are on a disk around here SOMEWHERE. In the mean time I did a bit of a Google search on "Toilets of the world" and came up with some interesting examples... I wish I'd taken a picture of the tree stump toilet we used in Fiji...that one was truly a classic.

Chris, I know this is not the direction you were headed, but it's where reading your post happened to take me.


Pondering Pig said...

As you know, the sanitary latrine gag is one indicator Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunas uses to mark whether a client for his Grameen Bank has beat poverty. A roof that keeps the rain out is also very big on the chart. Note there is no mention of a flush toilet - just a sanitary latrine.

Stacy said...

I used non-porcelain squat toilets all over Africa. Basically, I'm not a big fan. It prompted the unfortunate use of this and a lot of hand-sanitizer on my feet.

Kirstie said...

Gee, a unit on cross-cultural toilets. They don't offer that here but I sure wish they did!

Leola said...

I haven't tried squat toilets before, but I did try both kinds of bidets (or at least I think there are two kinds). The european style, where the bidet is a separate toilet, and the asian style, which is the one where it's attached to the toilet. I even saw a high-tech bidet spray that keeps the toilet seat warm :P

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