A dhobi is a washerman in India. Dhobis go from house to houes collecting dirty clothes 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.
In Mumbai, this place where the Dhobi's wash their clothes is called 'Dhobi Ghat'
According to a custom, in certain areas of Rajasthan, women are hired as professional mourners after the death of a male relative. These women are referred to as a ‘rudaali’ (roo-dah-lee), literally translated as female weeper. They in turn publicly express the grief of family members who are not permitted to display emotion due to social status. The rudaalis make a scene crying out loud. The impact of their mourning also compels other people at the funeral to cry.