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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…  
  

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Categories: Uncategorized

8 replies »

  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。

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  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?

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  3. 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。

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  4. 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.

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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!

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  8. 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)

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