The Cow Wash is a Thing in Pakistan
Okay, so you might be thinking what a little automotive blog like this is doing reporting on cows, but the bullock cart has been a mode of transportation used since ancient times and still is in some parts of the world, so therein lies the connection (indulge us). Furthermore, we are celebrating the festival of Eid al-Adha or Hari Raya Aidiladha here in Malaysia and we’d like to take a breather from all the COVID-19-related news sometimes.
Now, it is a tradition during this Muslim festival to sacrifice a cow (or goat or sheep) and the sacrificial animal is usually cleaned ahead of the ceremony. In Pakistan, though, some enterprising car wash owners have, during this period, converted their business of washing four wheels to scrubbing down four legs – they identify themselves by swapping their signage to “Gaye Wash”, which literally translates to “Cow Wash”.
Cattle owners bring their animals, often covered in dirt and dung, to these car washes for a thorough clean, costing them between 100 to 400 rupees (RM2.50 to RM10.00), depending on the size of the animal. Just like how a vehicle is treated to a wash, the animal would first be drenched by a pressure hose (what a shock that must be), lathered with soap, avoiding the eyes and mouth, followed by a scrub, and ending with a rinse. Sounds rather relaxing, really, if you don’t think about what comes after…
With the fear of the coronavirus present everywhere nowadays, some car wash owners have included disinfectant products into their service.
The trend of commercial cow washes in Pakistan began a couples of years ago and has been gaining popularity year by year. The tradition of bathing the animal at your own home is becoming increasingly difficult to practice, with houses being replaced by apartment buildings and water scarcity plaguing the country.
Up to 10 million animals are sacrificed during Eid al-Adha in Pakistan alone and since people are not driving their cars as much during these times, it’s potentially good business diversification for car washes around the world.