Have you ever considered the fact that people from different countries have different cleaning habits, methods, and traditions? At first, it sounds a little weird. All you need is a mop, a rag, and some cleaning products. That’s why I have gather some interesting facts on cleanliness around the world.Learn some amazing facts on cleanliness in different countries, from traditions to how much time they spend cleaning their houses.
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A clean house is a clean house, isn’t it? Well, apparently it runs a lot deeper than that. Here are seven fascinating facts about cleaning that blew our minds and are guaranteed to blow yours, too.
Facts about cleanliness around the world
Spring-cleaning isn’t just that for the people of Iran. The Iranian New Year, also known as Nowruz, is celebrated by millions across the world on the first day of spring, and it’s considered to be quite a special occasion. Because the day is a celebration of life and a symbol of renewal, in the weeks leading up to the day, the people dedicate their effort to keeping their houses shining.
This includes throwing out old furniture and broken utensils as a way of preventing omens and bad spirits. The cleaning tradition also extends to one’s self as it’s customary to buy a new outfit, get a haircut, and look their best. It all goes back to the ancient Iranians/Persians who believed in ridding themselves of anything old and evil-bearing before starting a new chapter of life.
Cleaning is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. Whether it’s in school, at home, in the neighborhood, or in Japanese religions and mythology, you’ll find that cleaning takes up a significant amount of space. In the house, outside shoes are not allowed inside, but are kept outside and are exchanged with house slippers. At school, while there are janitors to do the professional cleaning, students are made to clean the premises themselves at least two times a week.
It’s not extensive cleaning, but it’s enough to teach kids responsibility and build interpersonal connections through dividing the effort. When it comes to neighborhoods, it’s common to find residents getting together to clean up their areas. It’s a regular event. As per the teachings of Shintoism, cleanliness is associated with purity and is favored by the gods while dirt is associated with evil.
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In the United States, while it’s not commonly acknowledged, it seems that cleanliness has a deep impact on emotional and mental health. According to a 2017 survey commissioned by The Clorox Company and conducted by Ketchum Global Research & Analytics, cleaning is heavily associated with the American family’s emotional and mental well-being. That’s why keeping a clean house is important for those who value productivity.
It’s also why, according to experienced contractors from Belloscleaning.com, a proper house cleaning job has to be done by a professional cleaning technician. According to the survey, 72% of 2,008 adults reported that they were more productive in a clean environment, 80% reported they felt more relaxed, and 60% reported reduced stress levels. So, as you see, a clean house in the U.S. is more than just a preference, but a necessity.
You might think that the concept of de cluttering is a new thing, but the truth is that it’s been around for ages. Don’t believe us, ask the Guatemalans. Starting from the 16th Century and up until now, on the 7th of December, Guatemalans take part in the Devil Burning festival or Quema del Diablo.
As the name suggests, it’s more of a spiritual cleansing festival, but it also involves cleaning houses. It started with neighborhoods burning trash in front of their own houses to cleanse them and create a fire large enough to burn a paper mache figure of the devil. Over the years, this tradition has turned into an opportunity to get rid of any useless house object and anything that harms more than helps.
Think of how much time you spend cleaning your house. Done? Now, think of how much time would be too much. According to a survey done by Kärcher, the average time anyone spends cleaning their house is 2 hours and 10 minutes. In Russia, that’s considered light cleaning, given that their average time is 3 hours.
That being said, do you have any idea how many Russians spend even more than that cleaning before a date or when they intend to make a good first impression? 78% of the respondents. If you ever go there for a visit and expect to hear the words, “I’m sorry it’s a mess in here,” don’t bet too much on it. Is it going to put a little pressure on you to do the same? There’s no telling, but in a much more real sense, you should clean your house. At least if your date’s coming over.
What’s better than a mop and a bucket? A three-day nationwide water fight. During Songkran, the Thai New Year festival, citizens take to the streets and they drench each other in water in celebration. Given its Buddhist origins, this is also the time where monks celebrate by pouring perfumed water and flower petals over buddha statues. It’s also traditional at the time to present offerings in temples to receive blessings during the new year. Similar to other cultures, cleaning the house during this time is also a way of not just celebrating the new year, but also cleansing the residence of the physical body. After all, the soul resides in the body and the body resides in a home. If the home is impure, it affects the soul.
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Here is where cleaning is an art form rather than a chore. Brazilians are known for their top-down cleaning method which entails cleaning a house from its highest points to the lowest. Have you ever cleaned the ground before dusting your surfaces? Imagine the horror of watching a dust bunny float down and gingerly land on what was a dust-free floor. It’s the stuff of nightmares. With the top-down cleaning technique, when cleaning high surfaces and the dust and debris fall down to the ground, you get to sweep them during the last phase of cleaning, thus minimizing your effort.
As you see, while we all enjoy a clean house, the stories, motives, and lore behind our love for cleanliness heavily depend on where we come from and the culture we grew up in. With that in mind, if you think that you know someone until you’ve seen their house, you need to accept the fact that you don’t know that much. Are they attentive to details? Do they thrive in a chaotic environment? Are they at peace with who they are, regardless of what others think? Do they tend to their spiritual side? Cleanliness or the lack of it can answer all of those questions. Cleaning is not just a chore, it’s a part of us.