Sunday, April 15, 2012

Save the World: Monday is washing day

When I was young, I grew up in Sibu, Sarawak in Borneo. I went to Methodist school where we had a lot of missionaries from UK and USA. One of the songs they taught us was: Monday is washing day. Tues is something........ What puzzled me most was why just Monday?

In Borneo, everyday was washing day,
1; it was very humid, and clothes reek of sweat and if you don't wash them daily, you get mould.
2: in the 60s, families were very big, my family was bigger than the norm, Mum and Dad had 9 kids. Can you imagine if all the dirty laundry was left to Monday, what a ginomous chore it would be. Dirty laundry is soaked over night in a big tub of soapy water, we helped Mum scrub them on the wooden washing board, then we wringed it over another tub of running clean water. Finally we hand wrung as dry as we could before we hung to out to dry on the lines. We didn't have the energy, and sometimes with big items like towels and sheets, two of us would hold each end and wrung it that way. Sometimes, one of us would drop one and the the effort is wasted.
3: One day, when my youngest sister G was born, it was a glorious day. Dad decided it was too much for Mum to do all the laundry, ( we used cloth nappies) and cleaning the house. Bless him, he employed a Malay washer woman. This woman came and did the laundry, ironing and cleaning the house. That washerwoman was the best since sliced bread. Unfortunately, it didn't last long.
4: Mum decided that it was too much on our family budget. Mum did the washing chores during the week days. My sister M and I did it on the weekends. By then, my two older sisters had left home for their college training. When they came home during their holidays, they did the washing. The family would remember the younger siblings thought the two oldest sisters were our new washerwomen. ( You can't blame them, when the baby was born, the sisters had left home.)

With that background, despite having lived in Canada and New Zealand for most of my adult life, I still do my laundry when ever I can, hoping the sun will be shining. It rains a lot here, and the weather can change quickly. If it is really shining, I do my laundry during a week day, and hope it is not going to rain before I come home. If not, I try to do it on a Saturday. If it rains on a Saturday, then I do it on a Sunday. Today, I did iton a Monday.

I try to hang my laundry on my rotary clothes line, the laundry is seldom 100% dry because Auckland is very humid. At the end of the day, I put them in my hot water cupboard.  I try not to use the drier, if I can help it. But in winter, when it rains everyday, I make my life less stressful by using the drier.








If anyone of you remember the Monday is washing day, besides these two versions, I shall love to see the lyrics.

There seem to be a number of variants of this traditional children's song, which is used to teach days of the week by means of music and repetition. Some versions use different foods for different days. The Scaffold's version drew on the traditional North of England words based partly on daily activities, partly on food.
The verses were:
Today's Monday, today's Monday
Monday is washing day
Is ev'rybody happy?
You bet your life we are.
Today's Tuesday, today's Tuesday
Tuesday's soup,
Monday is washing day
Is ev'rybody happy?
You bet your life we are.
etc.
Wednesday's roast beef
Thursday's shepherds pie
Friday's fish
Saturday's payday
Sunday's church
As each day is added, the previous days are repeated in reverse order until all 7 days of the week have been covered.
Today's Sunday, today's Sunday
Sunday's church
Saturday's payday
Friday's fish
Thursday's shepherds pie
Wednesday's roast beef
Tuesday's soup,
Monday is washing day
Is ev'rybody happy?
You bet your life we are.

Monday: Wash Day
Tuesday: Ironing Day
Wednesday: Sewing Day
Thursday: Market Day
Friday: Cleaning Day
Saturday: Baking Day
Sunday: Day of Rest



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4 comments:

Ginny said...

I have never heard of this song. We have a washer and dryer and use it every time. I can't dry my stuff on the line outside because of allergies, pollen and stuff in the air. It seems like Monday is washing day all over the world!

wenn said...

hot water drier? how does it work?

Ann said...

The hot water cylinder is quite warm, and it is housed in a cupboard. It is like a big tank, not the instant hot water heater in Malaysia or Sigapore. So the space around it is quite warm. The New Zealanders have made shelves on top of it, and the heat dries the almost dried clothes. It won't work if your clothes are wet.

Lina Gustina said...

I'm so lucky to have a female helper to help me doing household chores. I spend about $60 per month. She works only three hours per day and she's off on Sundays.

I only have local channels, Ann. I prefer to online in my spare time :)

We live in Bogor, West Java. Thank God we weren't affected by the last earth quakes.

Have a great week ahead!

www.1sthappyfamily.com