Chamberpot sold as fruit basket on Amazon

Chinese weddings are usually grand affairs made up of old-time traditions that have stuck around. One of these traditions include bridal gifts a mum buys for her daughter with dowry to mark the special day. It typically includes staple household items such as a chamberpot called tam pui or tan tong in red. 

While we know these traditional Chinese chamberpots for their less-than-appealing but practical functions, Amazon US has a listing for the same red pot marketed as a “fruit basket”. Staging photos of the product used as a bucket to hold bread and wine has been circulating on the Internet, and Malaysian netizens are shocked by the unusual usages for the pot.

Other usages for traditional Chinese pot

Photos of the Amazon listing for the red Chinese chamberpot have been making the rounds on social media platforms in Malaysia and abroad. We did a quick search on the popular American e-commerce site to see whether the listing was indeed real, and it is.

While we didn’t find the exact listing, a similar pot is listed on Amazon US as an enamel “basket” from the 1960s to supposedly hold produce while adding charm to your kitchen and dining table. It’s also currently sold at USD59.99, or around RM240.

Chamberpot used as basket - Amazon listing
Image adapted from: Amazon 

Along with the pot’s staggering price tag, it also comes with design specifications to provide “context” to the pot to those who might not know how to use it.

According to the listing, the pot serves multiple duties, including acting as a countertop fruit basket to “[serve fruits] in style”. But if this isn’t to your fancy, it can also be used to organise your pantry goods, such as “vegetables, bread, snacks and candy”, and hold scent-diffusing potpourri.

Chamberpot used as basket - basket
Image adapted from: Amazon 

Another usage of this pot is as an “accent piece” because of its attractively painted red-and-white design that’ll fit right in with the rest of your Chinese tableware – often considered collector’s items overseas.

It also apparently makes an “elegant gift for any occasion”.

Chamberpot used as basket - product description
Product description of the Chinese pot on Amazon
Image adapted from: Amazon 

Typical usage of traditional Chinese pot

If you have yet to come across these pots, they were typically used by the previous generation to relieve themselves at night. That’s because most houses in kampungs have yet to have indoor toilets. These pots also double as spittoons.

Chamberpot used as basket - spittoonImage adapted from: YouTube

A red Chinese pot, just like the one listed on Amazon, is listed on YoyCart, a China-based online shopping platform. But there, it’s sold as an all-rounder waste bucket – a function which most of us might be more accustomed to.

Netizens confused over pot’s unusual usages

With how unusual the whole thing is to those familiar with the pot, Malaysians have been chiming in on the discourse on the Internet. A post shared to Facebook group Malaysian Heritage and History Club had a flurry of Malaysian netizens coming out to share how they use the pot in modern times – as trash cans and flower pots, or training potties for kids.

Image adapted from: Malaysian Heritage and History Club

Others were a little more accepting of using the pot in occasions that are not in line with traditions. As these pots were commonly seen in the 60s and earlier, and part of the Chinese culture, there were some netizens who welcomed the use of the pot as a quirky decor item.

Image adapted from: Malaysian Heritage and History Club

Chamberpot takes on new usage as fruit basket

Those who have come across this Chinese chamberpot in the past may remember typically using it for waste. And while we’re getting a good laugh out of the Amazon US listing that markets the pot as a fruit and food basket, we hope that the item being sold is brand-new.

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Cover image adapted from: Amazon 

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