I’m an American living and traveling in India. I’ve noticed a lot of confusion and repulsion from both cultures regarding how the other uses the toilet. I thought it’d be fun to make a little website explaining the how-to’s, what’s gross and what’s not gross about each side. I hope to be honest about both the good and bad of both culture’s toilet habits, and I want to clear up misconceptions that each has about the other.
This website is just something I threw together this morning after spending about a week reading about these topics and asking my Indian friends about their habits. I’ve provided several links, but mostly this information based on things I have personally seen and experienced while traveling through and living in India. I’m eager to hear from anyone who thinks I may have gotten something wrong, but please read these two warnings first.
Warning to Everyone:
You are correct that some habits of the other culture are gross. However, some of your habits are gross too! We need to think about these things in their own cultural context and be more open-minded. The truth is that pooping is just gross, no matter how we clean up afterwards! I think it is all pretty funny, so go ahead and write about what you think is gross. Just don’t write telling me that your way is better.
Warning to Indians:
Many middle class and wealthy Indians get defensive and judgmental when Western travelers talk about things that the majority of people in India do. Keep in mind that most Indians are not educated urbanites with a disposable income who have the opportunity to surf the web. Most still live in poverty in slums and villages, and though you may not interact with them very often, travelers meet them far more frequently than they meet wealthier Indians. So please don’t write to tell me that the things I mention don’t happen in India. When I say “India”, I mean all one billion of you- not just the very small minority of middle class / wealthy people.
- How Americans Use Toilet Paper
- How Indians Use Water and The Left Hand
- Indian Men and Public Peeing
- Indian Women and Access to Toilets
- Indian Women and Menstruation
- How To Dispose of Sanitary Pads In India
- American Women's Toilet Habits
- Indians and Tampons
- Tampon Use and Physical Activity
- Tampons and Toxic Shock Syndrome
- Tampons and Virginity
- Tampon Insertion