Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Toilet versus Slovenly
There’s an article in Kompas of how certain people in Indonesia were put their attention in toilet environment, public or individual.
Naning Adiwoso, Chairman and Founder of the Indonesia Toilet Operators Association, stated that the toilet could reflect the culture of the country. Compare to other Asian country, Indonesia were still left behind, even though there’s an improvement in certain Public Toilet. She also pointed out of the disease from bacterial in squat toilet were higher compare to sit-down toilet.
The interesting part of her comment was the cleanness toilet in Beringharjo traditional market in Jogja, Central Java, Indonesia. It was located in the traditional market and yet the toilet was clean.
Phew, culture and toilet …; I’m hundred percent agree, but does it mean that we are slovenly nation just because of dirty toilet ?
There’s a whole nature vs nurture debate (copying my blogger friend comment, gj) if we would like to discuss the connection between slovenly nation and dirty toilet.
I completely agree that there’s a connection between culture and the way people use the toilet. Asian people, in their culture, they know squat toilet first before they interact with sit-down toilet. Therefore, when they interact with sit-down toilet, they feel uncomfortable or the worst part, they copied the way they use squat toilet, in the name of “cleanness”.
The other reasons also the concept of “dryness” toilet. In western country, the way western people take a bath were different than Asian. The concept of Asian bathroom, do not recognize bathtub or shower, therefore there is no “dry” area in Asian bathroom, different with western.
So, when Asian people have to wash their genitals after urinating, it is difficult for them to use a toilet paper. Asian people will back to their culture like the dryness bathroom. Toilet paper versus water, it’s like our campaign of “Green World”.
Go to China, and you would see the difference. Their airport in Nanjing do not have sit-down toilet only in the Hotel. In their office, don’t ever dream that you would find sit-down toilet.
I bet, for people who always sit-down toilet, every time they have to urinate it’s really a nightmare.
In Indonesia, if you go to small city, especially in the airport, there are two choices, sit-down toilet and squat toilet.
Back to the issue, cleanness toilet versus slovenly nation, I have to say that it depends on the person itself not the nation, because even in Europe, their public toilet not always clean, there’s still smelly toilet.
Therefore, I must say, yes there’s a connection between culture and the toilet, since cleanness depends on the person itself. Government can only push people to understand the concept of cleanness.
If we would like to start it at the airport, then like other Asian country, we have to put the cleaning service there, monitor the work of the cleaning service and not pretend that the cleaning service already clean the public area, the toilet area. Manage the amenities of public toilet, like toilet paper and hand soap. That is how we start the concept of cleanness and dryness toilet.
Last night I went to Shell toilet, and to my surprise the toilet was clean. They use the concept of sit-down toilet. Compare to our public toilet area, the scale is ten versus one. Shell toilet was cleanest compare to our beloved Soekarno-Hatta airport.
I have traveled to every city, in every condition, used different public toilet in different occasion, sometimes I have to used people’s toilet, and to my surprises also, in the village, I could find descent and cleanness toilet.
Can’t say a culture or even the nation, the right way to say is the People. In public area, have to say the Government.