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Why Chinese People Take A Shower in The Evening

Yesterday I had once again a conversation about the alleged habit of Westerners to take a shower in the morning.

I was surprised when, a few years ago, a Chinese friend asked me for the first time the question: "Do Western people really take a shower in the morning?" I had never thought about this before. But apparently, a lot of Chinese/ Taiwanese notice (and disapprove of) this habit.

When you live with a Chinese family (which could for example be your girlfriend's/boyfriend's family) you might have noticed that they are not very happy with your going to bed without taking a shower or bath first. It seems as though they considered it disgusting, and they wish you had brought your own bed sheets. 

First of all, I don't think every Westerner takes a shower in the morning. I guess it depends on the person and the mood. I, for example, usually take a shower in the morning, but when it's hot outside, I prefer to take a shower immediately after coming back home in the evening. I have no clear rule, just rely on my feeling. Basically, I think it's nice to go out and start a day still fresh from a shower. On the web, some Taiwanese have described this as "一種禮貌" (a way to be polite), though I have some doubts if this is the right way of explaining it.

One of the reasons why Asian people might take a shower in the evening is something that quite surprised me. In Europe, I usually change my bed sheets once a week, in the summer even twice a week. So, I had never thought in my whole life that I should take a shower in the evening in order not to make the bed sheets dirty. But apparently, Chinese/Taiwanese tend to keep the same bed sheets for a long time. Even for months (that's what I've observed, but I might be wrong). I wonder if this could be one reason why they avoid going to bed without having taken a shower first. To be honest, I feel very uncomfortable with having the same bed sheet for so long...  
  

Comments

  1. 我寫中文,不知您看得懂嗎?
    這是有趣的話題。
    我通常在晚上洗澡,想讓熱水帶走一天的疲勞。

    ReplyDelete
  2. 您好!歡迎我的部落格,謝謝您分享您的想法。我本來覺得晚上洗澡還是早上洗澡沒有什麼不同,跟亞洲人家朋友以前沒有想到這個問題。然後,我在歐洲認識了很多中國人,他們跟我說,他們的來自西方國家的朋友早上洗澡,這件事讓他們覺得歐洲人很髒。大部分我認識的大陸人和台灣人都晚上洗澡。

    有一次一個中國人跟我說,他的歐洲朋友去了中國,在他的家待了幾天。中國人不喜歡他的歐洲朋友早上洗澡,他說,如果他想早上洗澡,他就應該用自己的背包。所以我自問,問題是不是,中國人很少換背包,所以如果他們晚上不洗澡他們就會怕背包會很髒的。你覺得呢?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 你的中文很棒!
      中國洗澡,有着傳統的文化,不僅僅是髮肤的潔淨,更講究端莊的品行,良好的德行。如古代的官,上朝拜見皇帝要沐浴,祭祀要斋戒沐浴,不僅是禮儀,也是一種信仰。

      Delete
  3. Ha interesting. I have the same question in mind too.
    I just feel it more comfortable to sleep in a clean bed in clean clothes. The bed sheets are clean even we don't wash it for months as we usually avoid putting dirty stuff(like bags or street clothes)on them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Rice: ) I think that both taking a shower in the evening and in the morning is okay. I never thought it was a big issue until Chinese people made to me the remark that it is strange to take a shower in the morning.

    Personally, during the summer I take a shower in the evening and and mostly also in the morning. But in the winter I usually take a shower only in the morning. However, I prefer to wash the bed sheets quite often, because to me they are like clothes that simply need to be washed.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think people take a shower in the evening because their parents did.
    I, myself tend to take a shower both in the morning and in the evening.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Climate is a huge factor too. When I used to live in Taiwan, I couldn't even fall asleep without showering since I'm sweaty and sticky after a whole day exposed in the heat and humidity of the subtropical climate. Now that I live in the US, I can comfortably go to bed at night without showering and start my day with a shower since it's drier here. Sometimes, not showering for just 1 day doesn't feel that bad, but I recall in Taiwan, it was UNBEARABLE!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Aris, your Chinese is awesome! How long did it take you to learn to write/speak so well? I'm enjoying reading your insight about Taiwan and will be sharing your blog with my partner as we are thinking about going to Taiwan for a year next year (I was born there but left since I was 10 yrs old)

    ReplyDelete

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