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Friday, October 13, 2006

Never Better than Washed By Hand

Yesterday was the scene of one of the more unusual cultural events in the area of Los Lavaderos (The Laundries) in Santa Cruz, Tenerife. The Residents Association of Los Lavaderos, organize, every October 12th, an event which harks back to the time when women of the area spent their days doing their washing and that they took in to do for other families and, including the laundry for those who came into Santa Cruz port on ships - by hand in the public washing facilities. A tradition that goes back to the 19th Century, but which was still being carried out as recently as the 1970's.

Apparently, it was such a powerful memory in the area that the antique washtubs were reopened, as an exhibition, in 1982, since when the locals decided to make it into this annual event. Though this might seem decidedly third-world, say La Opinión, the women say that they prefer to wash by hand and that the results are far superior to those achieved with any modern automatic washing machine.

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