Wtf? Chinese Professionals Make A Living On The Street Performing This Procedure In Open Air!

Wtf? Chinese Professionals Make A Living On The Street Performing This Procedure In Open Air!

I’ll admit, China has some pretty odd customs. One such custom is the professional removal of earwax by professionals and, oddly enough, this takes place on the streets of Chinese cities. Now, these professionals are seeking to solidify this profession as a cultural aspect worthy of protection.

chinese pro

In China, ear cleaning is not just a necessity for hygiene; the process is considered by many as an enjoyment – thanks to the country’s professional ear cleaners.

The time-honoured profession sees skilful tradesmen using as many as eight different tools to clean their customers’ ear canals; and now a group of them are hoping to preserve their skills for future generations.

A total of 30 ear-cleaning masters from Chengdu, south western China, recently signed a petition in hope of turning their trade into an intangible cultural heritage, according to People’s Daily Online

Having one’s ear cleaned by the side of the streets is a popular pastime in Chengdu, a second-tier city in China known for its spicy cuisine and relaxing lifestyle.

Every day, hundreds of residents and tourists in the city go to visit ear-cleaning masters, who usually provide their service in tea houses and parks.

Peng Dajun, 54, is oldest among the 30 Chengdu ear cleaners who signed the petition.

Mr Peng, who learnt the trade from his father, has been in the industry for 42 years. His family has four generations of ear cleaners.

Peng Dajun said: ‘Applying ear-cleaning as an intangible cultural heritage is a protection to the trade.

‘In my opinion, it is definitely a good thing.

‘It will raise the awareness of this dying tradition and I can continued to provide for my family.’

Traditional ear cleaners are said to use up to eight different tools, including wires, copper tongs, wooden scoops and goose down, in order to reach every nook and cranny of their customers’ ear canals.

They also wear headlights while working to help them see better.

Although the thought can be scary, the experience is apparently enjoyable as it has grown to be one of Chengdu residents’ favourite leisure activities in the past two decades.

Customers typically pay four to 10 Yuan (£0.4-£1) for a session, which lasts up to 30 minutes.

The ear-cleaning process is often described as an ‘ear massage’ in China as the movements of the tool simulate acupressure points inside the customers’ ears.

It is also thought the process could bring a healing effect to the rest of the body.

In fact, many Chinese believe that regular ear cleaning is one of the three traditional practices – alongside bathing and foot massaging – to help people live a long and healthy life.

The atmosphere of ear-cleaning salons in Chengdu can be a selling point on its own.

They are often located in tea houses and parks where bamboo chairs and tables are set up for clients to sit and relax.

While ear-cleaning masters are busy finding earwax, customers are offered a pot of Chinese tea to sip on.

The art of ear cleaning is extremely delicate as wrong pressure or angles could cause fatal damage to the customers’ hearing,

Sadly, difficult training of the trade has deterred many young generations from getting into the industry. In addition, Chinese youngsters tend to prefer more glamorous and profitable industries.

Chengdu’s ear cleaners hope their petition can help preserve their skills so that the time-honoured trade can carry on benefiting many Chinese generations to come.

Hey, if people want to pay for the service, that’s great. As for Americans, I think we’ll stick with Q-tips.

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