Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Razor Sharp connection .. from worthy warriors to worthy wordsmiths

Thanks to my love for reading, I have read about many men, in my life.  

And, thanks to this #WillYouShave activity, recently reflected & inferred a razor sharp connection .. between many illustrious men .. be they warriors or wordsmiths.

To start with, did you know that Scandinavian men who lived 3,000 years ago were buried with bronze straight-edged razors?  Many men were buried with shaving kits in the early Bronze Age. Razors and tweezers made of bronze have been found on Denmark’s Funen (Fyn) Island:

Image Courtesy.  Original Courtesy: National Museum of Denmark

Egyptian men embraced shaving with gusto at the start of the Dynastic Period. During this time, hair became seen as a symbol of man’s animalistic tendencies. Thus to put off the primal man and become civilized, Egyptian men began removing all the hair from their heads, faces, and even bodies. Wealthy Egyptian men often hired full-time barbers to live with them in order to maintain their smooth as a baby’s behind look every day. Less affluent Egyptians would frequent the local barber to have their faces and heads shaved daily. To appear unshaven became a mark of low social status.  Hair removal was so important to Ancient Egyptians that kings would have their barbers shave them with sanctified, jewel-encrusted razors. When a king died, he was often buried with a barber and his trusty razor, so he could continue to get his daily shaves in the afterlife.
The Ancient Romans were clean-shaven folk. A young man’s first shave was an important event in his life and was ritualized in an elaborate religious ceremony.
Some ancient Hindu sects practiced a first shave ritual similar to the ancient Romans. According to the Grihya Sutra, a collection of ritual texts that outlined the rites a Hindu was to perform in his home, a boy was to receive his first shave when he turned sixteen. Known as the Godanakaruman, this ceremonial first shave was performed by a local barber.
That's a diverse set of worthy warriors from the ancient past.  
Where are the wordsmiths, you ask?
The twain shall meet here: Mark Twain, the author of "the Great American novel", in 'Innocents Abroad', writes on his cherished fantasies of opulent old world shaving palaces and the reality of the experience. Here is an excerpt:

While in France:

Then we hunted for a barber-shop. From earliest infancy it had been a cherished ambition of mine to be shaved some day in a palatial barber-shop in Paris. I wished to recline at full length in a cushioned invalid chair, with pictures about me and sumptuous furniture; with frescoed walls and gilded arches above me and vistas of Corinthian columns stretching far before me; with perfumes of Araby to intoxicate my senses and the slumbrous drone of distant noises to soothe me to sleep. At the end of an hour I would wake up regretfully and find my face as smooth and as soft as an infant's. Departing, I would lift my hands above that barber's head and say, "Heaven bless you, my son!".

As humankind progressed, I can - despite geography or history - see a razor sharp connection between the literary men in my life .. worthy warriors to winsome wordsmiths. 

I know the guys reading this post must be heaving a sigh of relief about the goodies Gillette brings you, instead of those bronze age scary equipment.

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette

Cheers :)

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