Cleanliness and Culture: Indonesian Histories by Kees Van Dijk

By Kees Van Dijk

Contemporary years have proven a rise in curiosity within the learn of cleanliness from a historic and sociological standpoint. a lot of such reports on bathing and washing, on preserving the physique and the streets fresh, and on grime and the wrestle of dust, specialise in Europe. In Cleanliness and tradition realization shifts to the tropics, to Indonesia, in colonial occasions in addition to within the current. matters diversity from using cleaning soap and the bathing of garments as a pretext to assert superiority of race and sophistication to how references to being fresh performed a task in a crusade opposed to eu homosexuals within the Netherlands Indies on the finish of the Thirties. different issues are eerie epidermis ailments and the sanitary measures to get rid of them, and the way misconceptions approximately loss of hygiene because the explanation for disease hampered the discovering of a medication. recognition can be interested in alterations in angle in the direction of acting own physique services open air and taking flight to the privateness of the lavatory, to standard bathing ritual and to the trendy tropical Spa tradition as a manifestation of a brand new Asian way of life. With contributions by means of Bart Barendregt, Marieke Bloembergen, Kees van Dijk, Mary Somers Heidhues, David Henley, George Quinn, and Jean Gelman Taylor.

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A preliminary observation regarding documentation in the KITLV Images Archive is that race and class and absence must be built into our analysis of cleanliness, for there is an abundance of material on Indonesians of the poorer classes and almost nothing on Indonesians of the middle and upper classes or of the Dutch. 4 Images in the KITLV online archive are identified here by their reference number. I refer also to several photographs from private collections published in two of Rob Nieuwenhuys’s Tempo doeloe volumes.

Crews, Robert D. 2006 For prophet and tsar; Islam and empire in Russia and Central Asia. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press. Cunnington, C. Willett and Phillis Cunnington 1992 The history of underclothes. New York: Dover. P. 1968 Anglo-Saxons and Celts; A study of anti-Irish prejudice in Victorian England. Bridgeport, CT: Conference on British Studies at the University of Bridgeport. ] Dalrymple, William 2002 White Mughals; Love and betrayal in eighteenth-century India. London: HarperCollins.

Bellamy was not alone in his observations. Howard Malcolm (1839:192-3), travelling through Southeast Asia in 1837 as representative of one of the larger American missionary societies, observed that in Burma people could always be seen bathing, but he continues by writing that ‘[v]ery little is accomplished towards removing the filth from their bodies by their daily ablutions, as they seldom use soap…’. Malcolm (1839:192-3) also informs us that those bathing were a very small proportion of the whole population and that the washing of clothes was ‘done only at very distant intervals’.

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