“For most of the history of our species, in most parts of the world, bathing has been a collective act… But communal bathing is rare in the modern world. While there are places where it remains an important part of social life – in Japan, Sweden and Turkey, for example – for those living in major cities, particularly in the Anglosphere, the practice is virtually extinct. The vast majority of people in London, New York and Sydney have become used to washing alone, at home, in plexi-glass containers – showering as a functional action, to clean one’s own private body in the fastest and most efficient way possible.”
“The bathhouses of the future, by reinventing the historical social functions of their ancient originals and combining their most attractive aspects to build a new model, would compensate for the erosion of public spaces elsewhere… Politically, too, they could be part of a wider effort to construct sustainable economic models. Last year at the UN climate change conference in Paris, countries agreed to phase out gas boilers and replace them with carbon-friendly alternatives. Although boilers do not pollute to the same degree as cars, aeroplanes or cattle farms, our individual commitments to private washing is part of an unsustainable burden on the planet. Solar-powered public baths could lighten the load.”
Read more: “Why we need to bring back the art of communal bathing“.