过去同安乡村地区的卫生设备
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过去同安乡村地区的卫生设备

蒋黎金  文

 我四份之三的童年是在我的家乡曾林村度过。 在上个世纪五十年代,别说乡村, 即使是附近的马巷镇也没有卫生水喉设备,乡民们怎样处理他们的排泄物是现代人所无法想象得到的。大体上,他们用以下三样设施来解决:

 粪坑

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 同安人称它为“塞哈”。 村里到处都有塞哈, 塞哈是在地下挖的圆井,直径大约有两米, 深大约有三到四米,井面一半空着, 另一半除了个入口,由矮墙围着,这是村民们大小便的地方, 由于不够隐蔽, 女性们多数不敢到塞哈去方便。 收集在塞哈里的排泄物,村民们把它当做肥料,用来种植蔬菜瓜果。每当夏天一到, 由于天气炎热, 塞哈到处都是苍蝇,一旦下起绵绵大雨,排泄物溢出地面,真是臭气熏天, 不小心跌入塞哈而溺毙的事件也曾发生。

 尿壶

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这是男人夜间小便用的,所以同安人叫它做夜壶,每间睡房都备有一个,放在床底下。每隔三四个月,就会有人付点小费来收集夜壶里表层凝固的沉淀物,据说这些沉淀物可用来做药,又有人说这是用来种植某种药草所必需的肥料。

 屎桶

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大都是用木做成的圆形桶,同安人叫它做粗桶,这是妇女们大小便用的器具,通常放在床边的地上,桶的前面衔挂着一块布来遮蔽它. 每天早上,妇女们就会把粗桶里的排泄物倒进塞哈里,然后到池塘边洗桶。

 当时的卫生条件虽然差,但也没有严重的传染病发生,只是小孩子们多数会染蛔虫。

 

SANITARY FACILITIES IN TONGAN VILLAGES IN THE PAST

 Chiang Lay Kim

 I spent three-quarters of my childhood in my hometown, Zenglin village. That was in the fifties of last century where even the nearby Maxiang town was not equipped with modern sanitary facilities, let alone the villages. How the villagers disposed of their excreta then is unimaginable given today’s conveniences. The following outlines the three main facilities used then.

 Cesspit

 The cesspit was called “Sai Huck” in Tongan vernacular and could be found in every corner of the village. The “Sai Huck” was constructed by boring a hole about two metres wide and three to four metres deep into the ground. Other than an opening for access, the “Sai Huck” was surrounded by a low wall. The villagers would ease themselves there though most female villagers did not dare to use it due to a lack of privacy. The excrement collected in the well was used as fertiliser for the vegetables, fruits and nuts planted. During summer, the “Sai Huck” would swarm with flies because of the hot weather. If there was heavy rain, excrement would overflow, causing an unbearable, foul smell. There were even instances of people who drowned in the “Sai Huck”.

 Chamber Pot

 The chamber pot was ubiquitous in every bed room, typically placed under the bed. It was used by males at night to urinate in and thus got its name of “Yar Hor” (night pot). Every three to four months, there would be a person who went around the houses to collect the coagulated layer of precipitate in the pot. He had to pay a nominal fee to do so as some claim that the precipitate could be used to make medicine while others claim that the precipitate was an essential fertiliser for certain plants used for herbal remedies.

 Night Soil Bucket

 The night soil bucket was round in shape and made of wood. The Tonganese called it “Chor Tang”, loosely translated as coarse pail. It was placed on the floor by the bed and hidden by a piece of hanging cloth. It was the receptacle for females’ excreta and they would empty the contents of the pail into the “Sai Huck” every morning, before cleaning the pail by the pond.

 Though sanitation conditions were poor then, there was no outbreak of serious infectious diseases. However, it was common for children to suffer from roundworm infection.