The Cultural Politics of Squatting: a video by da-AL

For this Toastmasters speech, I needed to entertain my audience.

Squatting for my speech.
Squatting for my speech.

As you read this, picture me sitting on my haunches, atop a conference table.

My goal? To demonstrate:

a) The benefits of squatting.

b) The cultural politics of squatting.

My investigation into it began three years ago. During that time, I was having work done on my home. For several weeks, a small crew of men gathered each morning, under my  my back yard gazebo. Their ages ranged from early twenties to early eighties. All were Cambodian.

One by one they arrived, each waiting for the rest in a squat, as I’m doing. Rather than squirming with pain as I’m doing, they squatting with Olympian ease. Relaxed in the posture, they sipped coffee, munched pastries, chatted, and smoked. Once assembled, they stood without groaning the way I do, and set to work.

At lunchtime, they reconvened in the same manner. After ladling of freshly steamed rice from their rice cooker onto their plates, topped it with fragrant grilled meat and veggies from their toaster oven, they squatted to eat. Afterwards, they remained squatting, for a final chat, a sweet, and a smoke.

A yoga teacher mentioned that, thanks to squatting, people in India don’t suffer from knee and back problems the way Americans do.

Voila! It helped my knee, the one I broke twice last year!

The Internet confirms it.

In the Bathroom, squatting helps:

  • Hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, and hernias. European suffer 10 times more colon cancer!
  • No bathroom straining prevents heart attacks that be caused by it.
  • It alleviates incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and helps pregnancy,
  • It guards reproductive organs, including the prostate. USA Today, January 5, 2000: African Americans have the world’s highest rate of prostate cancer. Africans have extremely low rates. Overall, Westerners endure prostate cancer 30 to 50 more than Asians.

The way it aligns muscles and organs helps everything from the feet on up through the torso to the shoulders.

So why don’t we, unlike the ancient Romans, do it? I don’t own a squat toilet. Instead, I do deep squats throughout the day.

Do friends and family I’ve encouraged do it? No way. Not even those who grew up where squat toilets were de rigueur.

This Korean woman, married to an Anglo man, explained how he couldn’t overcome embarrassment when she and her family socialize while squatting.

If you don’t already, would you consider squatting? Can you squat?

21 thoughts on “The Cultural Politics of Squatting: a video by da-AL

  1. I didn’t know squatting was that beneficial for your health! I do squats, but mainly as a sports exercise, when I do a static squat I can only hold the position for about… a few minutes. Then my legs start to complain and I have to get up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL – me too – but I improved quickly. Remember, these are full squats, though. I took good advice to start with 30 seconds, five times a day, until it gets easier — heels all the way down. Good luck 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If I try to immagine a cave man … I can only see him squatted around a fire or hunting an animal with a spear,
    In the wounbe of a mother to be … the child is also folded in a squatted way … what you say I belive to be true.
    If someone doubts that it works … they schould simply try it for a period …
    Wer’e not here ( blogging what we belive ) to save the world … we just are trying to help it brcome a little bit better place.
    In God I trust.
    Yours sincerly.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Maybe it is the bit Indonesian roots I have, but I find myself squatting a lot of times too without any problem, and to be honest never thought about it.
    Nice to know I automatically have been doing something healthy 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh Daal, I love this post and your video! Squatting is actually very hard to do (for me, that is) especially a full squatting! After seeing and listening to what you said in this post/video, I think I’m going to include a few minutes squatting into my stretch exercise!
    Thank you!

    Vivienne X

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a very interesting article Daal. I have to say that this is how most people in the middle east go to the bathroom. Funny enough, they refer to the toilet seats as “foreign toilets”.

    Liked by 1 person

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