Last night, my neighbor peaked in while my kids were having their evening bath. They both were in buckets and I was just getting ready to scrub them down. My neighbor was horrified. “You are giving them a bath at night time?!” I told her that my kids were not sick with fevers, colds, or coughs, and yes, they were having a cold evening bath. She then asked if I gave my kids a night bath every day. And she was horrified when I told her that I did! I tried to reassure her that I used warm water when the weather was really cold. I don’t think even that was reassuring to her.

In this culture, bathing is never done at night, unless it’s super hot or unless you’ve just had sex. Bathing is done around noon time. Because the majority of people in the villages or in the slums bath in ponds or in semi-walled bathrooms, people bathe clothed. They are very thorough in their one bath, always washing their hair and scrubbing the bottoms of their feet and washing out their clothes. The public bathing culture was terrifying to me when I lived in the village, but I grew to love bathing under the hot noon sun with my clothes dripping soapy water. Now in cities, people have the opportunity to bathe privately and more frequently, but I guess night-bathing is still taboo!

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