India
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Washing Clothes Indian Style
Throughout India, on almost every inch of earth there happens to be water, you'll likely see the ritual of clothes washing. Udaipur, in the state of Rajasthan, sits on five lakes, the largest being Lake Pichola, in which lies the beautiful Lake Palace, a fine luxury hotel. In sharp contrast, men and women swarm along the banks of the lake with heaps of colorful clothing, ready for the pounding. It's a strange juxtaposition, the glitz and glamor amidst the shimmering lake, poverty along the outskirts. Unfortunately, this is an all too familiar phenomenon throughout India. Still, the sound of the dhobi wallahs, as they are called, thwacking away at dirty garments is as common a scene as any in this country. Armed with paddle and soap, they pummel away at soaking apparel until every speck of grime has vanished. It's actually rather surprising that anything more than a shred remains.
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