Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

NATO's potty rules shut out Afghans (Segregation)

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
rec_report Donating Member (783 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 06:50 PM
Original message
NATO's potty rules shut out Afghans (Segregation)
NATO's potty rules shut out Afghans Kandahar, Afghanistan 26 Mar 2007 Under a bizarre policy that echoes the days of segregation in the United States, Afghans who work at the NATO base at Kandahar Airfield must use separate toilets marked "local nationals only."

Several Afghans told The Globe and Mail the practice is insulting, but they are dependent on NATO for their livelihoods and reluctant to speak out.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jack Blevins, the U.S. officer in charge of administrative contracts, said the segregated toilet policy exists because the bathroom habits of the Afghans are different from those of the North Americans and Europeans who work at the base.

<snip>

Found here.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
musette_sf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. in South Asia
Edited on Tue Mar-27-07 07:03 PM by musette_sf
there are toilets, and Muslim toilets. they are signed that way.

they *are* different.

i suspect the signs are more for the benefit of the North Americans and Europeans to prevent any misunderstandings about usage, than about any kind of "segregation".
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. How are they different?
I've never heard about different toilets for Muslims vs non-Muslims...but then again I've never been inclined to learn if there is a difference either.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
musette_sf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. my experience is based on travel to Singapore
the Muslim toilet is recessed into the floor, and the ones i saw had footprint outlines to show you where the feet should go.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Thanks for the explanation
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
A HERETIC I AM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. If the cultural difference is so dramatic then it isn't a bad idea.
Would the average American feel comfortable using a toilet like this?

That is a typical Japanese toilet.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Ah yes, the squat toilet.
My wife just about had a heart attack the first time she saw one. She had no idea how to use it.

Most Americans don't understand that the idea of a "sit toilet" is primarily a western European thing. The countries populated or colonized by the western powers use them as a holdover from colonialism, but the rest of the world generally uses squat or trough toilets.

Of course, major hotels around the world also tend to have sit toilets, primarily to serve those of "Western" persuasion who object to the other two types.

If the Afghans are squatting on sitters, I can see why they'd segregate. Sitters aren't made for squatting, and doing so can both "soil" and break the seat.

Of course, you also have the "paper" issue. It's common throughout Asia to use a hose and a finger instead of paper. This practice would disgust most Westerners, but it's part of their culture (and it's perfectly acceptable hygenically, as long as you're scrubbing your hands afterward).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
A HERETIC I AM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Excellent point about the cleaning up afterward!
My Sister married a Pakistani, years ago. My Ex BIL flew his mother over once for a visit, shortly after my niece was born so that grandmother could meet her granddaughter.

My niece was and is naturally left-handed. I distinctly remember that woman slapping my niece's hand away when she would place her left hand anywhere near her lips.

Why?

Because in the Pakistani lady's culture, you use your bare left hand to wipe your ass!

There are some cultural differences that are difficult to understand, much less accommodate.

Let the Afghani's have their own toilets.

Keep your feet the fuck off of mine and don't worry if i use my left hand to feed myself, i have soft paper products, soap and hot, running water almost everywhere!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
karlrschneider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I had been to Japan twice before I saw one of those, in a Ryokan.
(Had always stayed in 'westernized' hotels before. I took one look at the thing and told myself "I can wait until tomorrow" :D

It looked like a urinal that slid down the wall and I was terrified to take a dump in it in case it wasn't made for that purpose. ;-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Actually, squatting
for defication puts the body in a more natural position and can help those who have problems eliminating. Don't know about urination-would seem to me to be a bit messy for women because of the splash factor.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
A HERETIC I AM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. You are correct re: squatting....
From what I understand, western/northern Europeans and their descendants are the only cultures that have broadly adopted the practice or defecating in a position where the knees are at the same level as the rectum. We don't squat and and not doing so isn't really healthy.

But...there you go.

Still don't want feet marks on my toilet seat!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I agree about the feet on the toilet seat
not good for anyone.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Yes, but squatters are a nightmare for the disabled and elderly.
Squatters require that you have BOTH a good sense of balance AND full motor control over your lower body. Most toilets sold commercially in the US today are so called "ADA models" that are designed to accommodate disabled users. There is no equivalent for squatters.

Oh, and I've been told that squatters are incredibly disgusting to use when you have bad diarrhea. Think about it. If that isn't gross enough for you, imagine hugging the hole after a long night out drinking too much. :puke:

On the other hand, squatters do have one huge advantage over sitters. Squatters are naturally more hygienic, because no part of your body is in contact with the toilet. You're literally holding your body OVER the toilet. When talking to squat aficionados, that is usually the #1 reason cited for their superiority. It's also the reason that squatters are so much more common in the Muslim world. Getting another persons feces on you is just as gross to a Muslim as it is to a non-Muslim, but Muslims have the added religious complication of ablutions. Muslims aren't allowed to pray if they're unclean, and so ANY part of the body that MAY have been in contact with waste must be scrubbed thoroughly. If a Muslim sits on a sitter, he has to scrub his entire derriere. If a Muslim squats, he only has to polish his crack. Squatters are superior for them because they require less work to remain ritually pure.

Personally, I'll take the western toilet. We invented ass-gaskets for a reason.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. They also make it more difficult to read....
;-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Mar 24th 2017, 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC