Closet, Indian style

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

It is a picture of our latrine situated outdoor, open to sky. Not in use for some years as we have one indoors. Our house is 95 years old and this was built at that time. Talk of cement lasting this long.. it has, because it was real cement. Workmanship was stupendous. Look at the small reservoir on the right. Functioned like a dam with sluice gate. It had to be filled with water and kept ready. As soon as the job was over, open the gate and lo, water would gush to flush clean.

Indian style squatting posture is said to be most favourable to tickle the connected nerves to stimulate easy bowel movement. Traditionally, washing with water and not t-paper is said to be more hygeinic.

Since this is not in use, plenty of wild growth appears with every rain. So recently, I got them cleared and this is how this heritage latrine looks!

Dinu

Thumbnail by Dinu
Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

That's interesting. It wouldn't be much fun during monsoon season, eh? Dinu, are the modern toilets similar to this style (i.e. no seat)?

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

Well, it would not have affected too much, as they always had the umbrella! LOL. There was no water connection there and a bucketfull of water had to be carried at the time of visiting.

Yes, both Indian and western style closets are available in ceramic. We can get the closet with footrests in a single unit or with footrests separate. There is another model with western commode having footrests in the sides for those who prefer to squat. It's a two-in-one. In modern homes, people are fixing both types to suit both preferences. Nowadays with older people developing so much of a knee problem, the western style comes in handy. Others younger opt for the Indian commode.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Where did everything go when sluiced away? Were there sewer systems, or did it go into a deep cistern? Did they put lime in it?

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

My house here is in a century old locality. So, the drainage system was in place before the houses. The same system is working even now, used by gravity. IT was taken away from the city to a sewage farm. Due to population boom the load on the old system is being felt now.

Force is needed to flush the excreta and so that system has been used here in this case. I think this is a rare one in our area, still existing - the door has gone.

Dinu

Bodrum, Turkey(Zone 10a)

Dinu, the turks also use similiar toilets.
here is a funny link of a site that is all about toilets that I found when researching something last year, cant remember what i was googling when i found this, but thought it was very informative.....
and here is a picture of the traditional turkish toilet - usually they have a tap with running water and no toilet paper.

Thumbnail by pebble
Bodrum, Turkey(Zone 10a)

ooopppsss forgot the link

http://www.cromwell-intl.com/toilet/

read about all the toilets of the world, and especially so many in turkey.....from the ancient times, during the crusades,a nd even further back in ephesus

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

That's an interesting link, Pebble!

I guess water makes sense from the standpoint of there being no added paper to clog/fill up the system. But how does one dry off?

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

Thanks Pebble. That's quite an exhaustive collection! I always remember during my childhood having to visit one in nearby village where my aunt stayed. There was no drainage system in place then (probably even now - but they have since moved out). The most unhygeinic I have seen so far. There was a large pit and it used to be cleared once a few months. There were two flat stones for footrest and there was a thatched screen and roofless. A common toilet it was. But I, from the city, had to visit - nature's urgency!

Recently, in Mysore, some Engineers have developed a waterless toilet - I think it was meant for a public urinal. It was interesting as it used only some deodorant and some saw dust. I'll try to get that info. It's useful where no water is available.

Those of Turkey and India/China have some similarities. Drying... on its own!

Dinu

Mableton, GA(Zone 7b)

I'm gonna ask the obvious then...do you walk around with wet underwear all the time?

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

Probably because we're in the tropics, drying may be quicker without any problems. It'll not be wet, but moist, only for some time!

Mableton, GA(Zone 7b)

It's amazing how different something simple like this can be the world over. I can imagine the shock if you went to another country without knowing about it!

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

A lady colleague of mine had been to Germany and she was explaining how hard it was for her to cope up with carpeted toilets (!!) there. The tradition is, hands are washed with soap and also the feet in plain water after the visit. So that care of the hygeine part, in the absence of use of any t-papers.

Bodrum, Turkey(Zone 10a)

ohh, I have heard of villagers who come to the city, actually get up on the toilet and squat on it cause they dont know how to sit on one. My husband said that often times in the military, where duty is compulsory, and you are mixed with people from all over the country, but especially the underdeveloped east, where there are no "ala franga (european toiles)" toilets, they have to be taught how to use a toiet, but they prefer to stand on it and squat......

I have enjoyed visiting many countries' bathrooms, japan, korea and thailand have a version of the squat toilet or what we call "ala turca" style toilet.
ecobiange......think "drip dry" - but i try to always have kleenex with me, i have gotten caught without and i refuse to drip dry.....i hold it.,....lol.....

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

LOL, pebble!

I can never forget my debut with the western commode. I had been on a tour with our cricket team and we were put up in a dormitory in the stadium which had, at that time, was not having clean toilets. Reason being it was not used regularly and was not staffed properly to cope with the situation. I had a problem. My team-mate had taught me the idea of the 'stand on it and squat' as you mention. It was because it was so unhygeinic and stinking. Somehow, the job used to be done and it went on for a week as we were winning matches! Even now, whenever I travel outside and am stuck with such w-commodes, I use this method, and for safety, I look for anything to hold on! And I remember my debut in 1979. So naturally, our preference is the other type. And when we visit relatives or friends' houses out of Mysore and are staying there, we prefer these and many a house have both styles. The w-commode is very 'handy' esp. where old people stay.

Bodrum, Turkey(Zone 10a)

most houses here too have both styles. I tell you though, i remember using the ala turca ones when i was drunk and having to hold on to the walls for dear life........(dont let my children hear that....)

Mableton, GA(Zone 7b)

lol Yeah, all I can think of is how terrible my balance is. I have a hard time in the woods camping! Eeek.

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

Dinu,

You are our teacher and I appreciate you....

Judy

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

Eco..,
Camps.... that should be the ideal preferred place... behind a bush! Sunlight will take care of the bacteria, if any.

Judy,
It's always a pleasure for me to share what little I know.

Dinu

Orange, CA(Zone 10b)

Thank you for sharing, Dinu. I don't think I've ever seen one that looked like yours in Vietnam, though. My grandparents' house had one similar to the turkish one that pebble showed. Our house in the city had a regular western type bowl with a seat but with the water tank higher up, closer to the ceiling.

I've never been to Japan but I've heard that they have some very fancy ones there.

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

Perhaps the old timers did not know the use of concrete with iron in between where they now use for building tanks above the house. So if they knew it then, they would have used gravity to flush by making a tank higher up. Here, they were using a little slope instead.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

In Turkey, in Istanbul in 1981, the cheap hotels all had Western-style toilets (but not double beds!), but in museums or if one wasn't at the hotel, one was just as likely to find a hole in the floor. I didn't know how to use it, so I held it in all day!

xxxxx, Carrie

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

I know how it feels, holding it back. When I was young, I was so choosy. I never wanted to go in any other place other than in my home's. So it became a problem when we went and stayed with my aunt for a couple of days in a nearby village. The very imagination of that village toilet makes me to stick my tongue out, holding my tummy.... yech. A large pit, two stones and some thatch as a screen on 3 sides. Clearance... I have no idea as to how often the pit was cleared!! It was a village where no drainage was in place. I HAD to use it then. Many years later when my uncle built his own house the first thing he did when he invited me there was to let me know that there was a proper toilet in his home!!! Such was the reputation my aversion had created in the family triggered by that incident when I was a little boy.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Things like that really stick with us! Here, outhouses were common and a common prank was to tip the outhouse over while its occupant was, well, occupied. People still do this tipping with porta potties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port-a-john_tipping I can't think of a worse experience. *Shudder*

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I grew up with an outhouse. We cleaned it every 6 months or so and use lime to keep it dry and not so odorous. The wasps and spiders were terrible! We used old magazine, catalogs, etc. for paper. Poor folks have poor ways. LOL. I use to try to wait until I got to school during the school year because there modern plumbing there. We still had to pump water from a well and carry it to the house, etc. I didn't get to live with modern plumbing until I was grown and got married. Even my first husband & I didn't always have it.

I remember when my parents finally got indoor plumbing.
Daddy wanted something for the barn and Mother decided it was time for indoor plumping. The banker was horrified when he learned they didn't have it yet. This was the mid to late 1960s. He told Daddy that no loan would be made until figures and contracts from plumbers, building contractors, electicians, etc. to put a bathroom in that house were presented to him. I think the loan was actually given to Mother to make sure it got done. It ended up being put in a corner of their bedroom. Best place and really the only area they could figure out to put one. They were in their late 50s by then.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Wow...Until the late 60's? I can't imagine. I guess it would be what you were used to.

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

Interesting, leaflady. This house of ours had a water connection direct from the water supply line when it was built 95 years back. Electricity too had just been introduced and we still have those wiring and switches still functioning!! But a water pipe had not been drawn up to that toilet. Water used to be carried each time. As per 'vaastu' science, the toilet has to be in the south east corner of the house and this is exactly where it is. It is also away from the main house, beside the outhouse (which before served as the barn and cowshed). The main drain from the bathroom is connected to the toilet so that frequent flow of water kept he toilet clean. What great planning!! And it is open to the sky. So sunlight takes care of germs and disinfects the location. The rains clean it! Our city has been blessed with plans from great engineers whom we still remember. Sir M.Visveswaraya is one notable figure that has put in his great intellect in the drainage system of the city but his main contribution has been the dam close to Mysore.

Dinu

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Dinu, when I saw this video on National Geographic's site regarding the World Toilet Summit, I had to find this thread and post the link! :)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/11/071102-toilets-video-ap.html

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

What an interesting thread! Dinu, I love the way you share your country's customs and history.

Just another bit of trivia -during a project to save the original homestead of the progenitor of my father's family (circa 1650), one of the things the archaeologists told us was how thrilled they were when they found intact outhouse remains. It seems when the residents moved the outhouse to a new location, they used the old one for trash and there were often a lot of artifacts found in them that added to the history of the area.

The first time I saw the privy in castle ruins in the UK, I was stunned. It's one thing to read about visiting the privy, it's another to be in the structure on a cold rainy day and realize what these folks went through! Yikes!

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

You're so right about outhouses ending up repositories for artifacts. There are often old pharmacy bottles and such in the outhouse pits of old homesteads. It's much better unearthing them a hundred years or more after their deposit, I can bet.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Dinu, Missouri was just getting electricity to rural areas in the mid 1950s and some areas didn't get it until the 60's. Co-Op were formed to provide the service & are still in place. Our house had electricity by the mid '50s, but not indoor plumbing.

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

Nice to hear about outhouses. Mmm treasures! None can dream of such findings here. Only the archaeological survey has the right to dig and document the findings. All open areas are wandered upon by [greedy] humans and no stone has been left unturned!

Please check the link above provided by pebble. It gives a very good insight into what it was centuries ago! Excellent collection of pictures there.

GW,
Two days back, the World Toilet Summit was reported in our National News. I heard on the radio. Did not follow the papers. There were some interviews in the news and the two I heard were speaking on the importance of hygeine and disposal.

lefalady,
Our city got electricity in 1908. Our house built in 1911 was connected already. So we have all the old wiring still intact. Even the switches imported from Britain.

Back to the subject - water had to be carried into the toilets in some container. Only later a tap and pipeline was drawn even though water connection was laid when building the house. Touching tap there was a taboo!! It seems there was a well closeby and in all probabilities, it was drawn and kept near the well for that purpose. Just a guess.

Drainage - our locality has the old system and still functioning very well and taking the load of heavy population. Thanks to the wonderful engineers that planned it. [I can name Sir M.Visveswaraiah, who did it]. I think I mentioned this above.

There were three toilets in fact, separated by walls. One went with the portion my g'father sold off. The one in pic is in the middle. Now, after some gap, I've begun to enjoy using the other one, looking at the sky, the birds.... aaaaa it's wonderful!! I carry rainwater that I collect in a tank. Easy manual flushing! Pipes are wide, unlike today!

Dinu

Alexandria, IN(Zone 6a)

Here is a humorus tale about old times.

http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/specialist.html

This message was edited Nov 11, 2007 9:55 PM

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I don't imagine it would be too pleasant during monsoon. ;) Do you put a roof over it during the rainy season?

The engineer's imagination fascinates me. I can't fathom being able to calculate everything that goes into a simple mechanism, let alone a whole city's drainage system. Kudos to Sir M.Visveswaraiah.

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

Rain and sun are natural cleaners - very reputed! A roof will counter the purpose. Also, the toilet [according to Vaastu - ancient building norms] has to be in the south east corner of the premises and this is where it is, and away from the main house. Attached toilets were taboo!! They came in, when living space became a premium. The outside toilet has its great advantages.

The drainage of the city Sir MV designed and built a century ago, was based on gravity. Other town planners have copied it - must have. Of course, the city has swollen by leaps and bounds, spread across everywhere.

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

A friend sent me this YouTube video that clearly explains how to use one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKkryfdtMNQ

It is really good - enjoy. He also has the Western Style to explain in a separate video.

The most important activity in our daily routine - the moods depends on our performance here!!

Dinu

Marks, MS

Quote from pebble :
Dinu, the turks also use similiar toilets.
here is a funny link of a site that is all about toilets that I found when researching something last year, cant remember what i was googling when i found this, but thought it was very informative.....
and here is a picture of the traditional turkish toilet - usually they have a tap with running water and no toilet paper.

I am glad you confirmed that. The first thing I thought of when I saw the pic was Sinop.

Dang, just the thought of Turkey gave me an Ekmek (sp) attack.

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

Today is World Toilet Day!! 19th November, 2013.
Ha ha ha.

Thumbnail by Dinu
Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I realized that (World Toilet Day) while I was traveling (on WTD). Hahaha.

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

http://www.naturesplatform.com/health_benefits.html

Health benefits of the squatting position.

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