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By Kees Van Dijk

Contemporary years have proven a rise in curiosity within the research of cleanliness from a old and sociological point of view. lots of such stories on bathing and washing, on retaining the physique and the streets fresh, and on grime and the strive against of dust, concentrate on Europe. In Cleanliness and tradition awareness shifts to the tropics, to Indonesia, in colonial occasions in addition to within the current. matters diversity from using cleaning soap and the showering of garments as a pretext to say superiority of race and sophistication to how references to being fresh performed a job in a crusade opposed to ecu homosexuals within the Netherlands Indies on the finish of the Nineteen Thirties. different issues are eerie pores and skin illnesses and the sanitary measures to get rid of them, and the way misconceptions approximately loss of hygiene because the explanation for disorder hampered the discovering of a remedy. consciousness can be attracted to changes in perspective in the direction of acting own physique features outdoor and backing out to the privateness of the lavatory, to conventional bathing ritual and to the fashionable tropical Spa tradition as a manifestation of a brand new Asian way of life. With contributions by way of Bart Barendregt, Marieke Bloembergen, Kees van Dijk, Mary Somers Heidhues, David Henley, George Quinn, and Jean Gelman Taylor.

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Simon Schama brings the weight of academic research to support this received idea in his discussion of seventeenth-century household manuals written for the Dutch housewife. They prescribed daily washing of the entryway to the home, set schedules for cleaning the front room, kitchen and cellar, required daily laundering of clothes, and laid down rules for scouring cooking pans and utensils, for making beds, folding linens, dusting and sweeping. From this evidence Schama argues that cleanliness was associated, in the minds of Dutch people, with pride and shame.

Malcolm (1839:192-3) also informs us that those bathing were a very small proportion of the whole population and that the washing of clothes was ‘done only at very distant intervals’. It is as if he is taking pains to assure his readers that those Burmese were actually a filthy lot. Malcolm’s words are a remarkably early denunciation of the soap-less. Mass-produced soap, we must remember, is a relatively new commodity in Europe and the United States. It appeared on the market only in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Two vols. Halliday, Stephen 1999 The great stink of London; Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the cleansing of the Victorian metropolis. Thrupp: Sutton Publishing. Hell, Stephan 2007 Siam and the League of Nations; Modernization, sovereignty, and multilateral diplomacy, 1920-1940. PhD thesis, University of Leiden. Horan, Julie L. 1996 The porcelain God; A social history of the toilet. London: Robson Books. Jasanoff, May 2005 Edge of empire; Lives, culture, and conquest in the East, 17501850. New York: Knopf.

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