Toilets From Around the World
Depending on what part of the world you're in, you may come across different types of toilets. There are two main types - 'sitting' and 'squatting' toilets, but there are a lot of other uniquely designed and even novelty toilets you may be lucky enough to spot!
Up until the mid 19th century, chair-like or sitting toilets had only been used by royalty and the disabled. Indoor plumbing was then invented and along came the throne-like water closet, hence the phrase 'sitting on the throne'! Ordinary people were then given the so-called dignity that was only previously possible for royalty and the rich.
Sitting toilets are also known as 'western' toilets as they originated in western culture and were symbols of supposed progress.
Unfortunately, the sanitation benefits of the indoor plumbing systems made people overlook the fact that the sitting position is not as good for you as the squatting position.
Sitting toilets are common in most western countries, however, due to a large Muslim Asian community in Rochdale, UK, some toilets have now been converted to squatting toilets (also known as nile pans).
Squatting toilets are essentially just a hole in the ground you have to squat over rather than sitting on.
There are many benefits to squatting toilets:
- They make elimination easier and complete due to the relaxed, natural position.
- They're better for you. They involve less straining due to the posture of the squatting position so that your rectum is not choked.
- May reduce haemorrhoids and other disorders such as diverticulosis and appendicitis
- They can help prepare pregnant women for a more natural delivery and avoid placing pressure on the uterus.
Some countries you can find squatting toilets in:
- Southeast Asia
- South Asia
- The Middle East
- The Balklands
- Few South & Central American countries
- Countries in the Russian Federation
If you're not used to using squatting toilets, you'll need flexible joints and good balance for your first go!
Toilet Paper or Not?
Different parts of the world have different views on toilet paper - whether it should be used at all, and if so where it should be located.
In the western world, there is a bit of an obsession with the quality of your loo roll, and some people even make it into an art!
In some places the toilet paper is located outside of the cubicle or stall, so you have to remember to pull some off and take it in with you!
In many parts of the world, the plumbing systems are not very good, so toilet paper cannot be flushed down the toilet but instead must be put into a bin.
In some parts of the world, people use their hands and water for the same purpose! A tap and bucket can be found next to the cubicle for you to wash yourself with instead of using toilet paper.