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The Dhobi are a caste group found in Pakistan and India who specialize in washing clothes. . The word Dhobi is derived from Hindi word dhona, which means to wash. They are found throughout North India, Gujurat, Maharashtra as well as the Punjab province of Pakistan, where they are known as Gazar. The Dhobi is likely to be of diverse origin, with those who ancestors took the occupation of washing clothes evolving over time into a distinct caste, bound by rules of endogamy. Most Dhobis follow the customs and traditions of the region they live, so for example those in North India speak Hindi, while those in Maharashtra speak Marathi.

Scope and job

Dhobis are an occupational caste grouping, and usually operate from door to door collecting dirty linen from households. After a day or two, they return the linen washed, sometimes starched and ironed. Dhobis were the forerunners on the Indian subcontinent to modern professional dry cleaners. Since the dhobi charges are much lower than those of dry cleaners, they are...
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