Dhobis (washermen) is a caste group in India. Their job is to wash clothes.

Traditionally, dhobis go door to door collecting dirty clothes and linens from households. After a day or two, they return clothes washed, and sometimes starched and ironed. In the old days, everyone would have a family dhobi.

Here's a song about dhobis for learning how to count to ten in Hindi. When the dhobi would pick up laundry, he would count out the clothes with the lady of the house. She would list the clothes and the amounts in her laundry book. He would also drop off their clean clothes and they would count them out from the previous entry in the book to make sure he returned all of their clothes.

धोबी आया - (Dhobi Aaya)  - Indian Children's Songs - India - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Notes

Pronunciation:

Dhobi aaya, dhobi aaya,
Kitne kapde laaya?
Ek, do, teen,
Ek, do, teen.

Dhobi aaya, dhobi aaya
Kitne kapde laaya?
Chaar, panch, chey,
Chaar, panch, chey.

Dhobi aaya, dhobi aaya,
Kitne kapde laaya?
Saat, ath, nau,
Saat, ath, nau.

Dhobi aaya, dhobi aaya,
Kitne kapdey laaya?
Dus, dus, dus,
Bhai, dus, dus, dus.

Comments

Here's an interesting Article about Dhobi.

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Here's the version in the next video...

Dhobi aaya, dhobi aaya,
Kitne kapde laaya,
Ek, Do, Teen
Ek, Do, Teen
Chaar, Paanch, Chhe
Saat, Aatth, Nau
Dus Bhas!

English:

The laundryman, laundryman came
He brought how many clothes?
One, two, three,
One, two, three,
Four, five, six,
Seven, eight, nine,
Brother, ten!
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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Translation by Lisa.

Image: A Company School watercolor, Patna, c.1820's

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