Thu, Apr 15, 2010 - Page 15 News List

Bamboo toilet paper among exhibits at toilet exhibition 「屎礐仔」大展 上廁所請便

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Have you ever seen a traditional toilet, of the kind used by people hundreds of years ago? Do you know what people used to wipe their bottoms with in days gone by? Your curiosity will be satisfied after visiting the toilet exhibition in Yilan County’s Dong Shan Township. The exhibition was organized by Jenju Village’s development association, which asked the village elders to build traditional toilets, and display an array of utensils that once served as toilet paper, such as pieces of bamboo. The exhibition lasts until the end of June.

In a time when toilet paper hadn’t yet been invented, all kinds of things were used in its place, including ropes, tree leaves, tree branches, stones, and even the leftovers of corn on the cob! Four interns from the social work program at the Chinese Culture University’s School of Continuing Education, as well as five others from National Yilan University did their homework and asked elders of the Jenju Village to make small pieces of bamboo sticks, another kind of “ancient toilet paper.”

In an era without toilet paper, naturally there also wasn’t any modern sanitary equipment. In the countryside, it was customary to dig a hole in the ground, then two wide wooden boards would be put over the top leaving some space between. Those who needed to go just stood across the space with a foot on either side of the wooden boards and let nature take her course. Of course, the toilet was hidden behind “walls” made of rudimentary materials, such as bamboo sticks, wooden boards, and covered with thatching.

The community published the results of their survey and invited village elders such as Chuang Jin-tien and Chen Cheng-kuei to build traditional toilets in the vegetable farm the community has “adopted.” They spent five days building a square toilet 2.36m high and 1.27m on each side. The walls of this new old-fashioned Taiwanese countryside toilet are made of bamboo and the roof is covered with thatching.

Visitors are not only allowed to “visit” this toilet, but they can also use it. However, there isn’t any toilet paper so visitors have to content themselves with the small pieces of bamboo sticks, just as their forebearers did.

When the exhibition first opened, a group of school kids had a quick look at the toilet. While they all wondered how people could possibly use a bamboo stick to wipe their bottom, they had fun getting to grips with the squat toilet.

(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY TAIJING WU)

古早時代的廁所,你看過嗎?以前的人上完廁所,拿什麼擦屁股,你知道嗎?你的疑問在參觀了宜蘭縣冬山鄉珍珠社區發展協會舉辦的廁所展覽之後,便會得到答案。發展協會請耆老們搭建了傳統的「屎礐仔」,並重現了早年如廁用、竹片製成的「屎桮篾仔」。展覽即日起展到六月底。

沒有衛生紙的年代,要擦屁屁,草繩、樹葉、樹枝、石頭、甚至吃完的玉米都派上用場!別懷疑,文化大學推廣中心社工學分班四名實習生與宜蘭大學五名見習生合力完成調查,還找來珍珠社區耆老,示範製作了另一種「古早衛生紙」:屎桮篾仔。

沒有衛生紙,當然也不會有現代的新穎衛浴設備,鄉下地方通常都是地上挖個洞,洞上架兩條寬木板,兩腳跨開踏上去、蹲下來就「大」起來了。四周圍則用簡單的竹子、木板圍起來,茅草蓋頂,稍加遮蔽。

社區展出調查成果,請來耆老莊進添、陳呈魁二人,花了五天,在社區的認養菜園裡,高二點三六公尺、一點二七公尺的正方形狀「屎礐仔」,四周圍牆面是用竹子搭成,屋頂覆蓋茅草,便所茅廁,原貌重現。

這座「屎礐仔」,遊客可以參觀,更可以「上」,不過,沒衛生紙,只提供傳統的「屎桮篾仔」,歡迎使用。

日前開放時,一批到社區參觀的幼童先睹為快。小小朋友看到以前的人用一片竹子擦屁股,都露出百思不得其解的表情,倒是大家都有興趣進去「屎礐仔」,試蹲一下。

(自由時報記者楊宜敏)

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