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footwear (was: RE: [conculture] Questions, Beware!)

From:Barry Garcia <barry_garcia@...>
Date:Monday, January 17, 2000, 2:32 writes:
>In our own house, we ask guests to remove their shoes. It started when >we had a bunch of small children crawling the floor, and didn't want >them to wallow in the street-dirt, plus, we had a few Muslem girls >helping in the house, and their custom of not entering the house with >shoes struck us as eminently sensible. So: everyone is welcome to >visit us, but leave your shoes in the hallway! >
Well, in many Korean and Japanese houses, you take off your shoes before entering the house (for most japanese that live in houses, its to keep the tatami mats clean). If I visit my Korean friends I have to remember to do it, because in my home we do not do it. It actually keeps the carpets clean. I've also noticed this in Vietnamese houses too (it must be a common custom in east and south east asia). Filipinos also do the same, for the most part. I'm never sure whether to take my shoes off or leave them on whenever I visit my Filipino friends (at my grandmother's house, we never do it, but mostly because she has these plastic runners all over the house to keep the floor clean). The advisor for the club I am in has guests remove their shoes, and the last time I was there I forgot to take mine off. My friends on the other hand don't insist on guest taking their shoes off. ObConculture: The Saalangal always take their sandals off before they enter the house. It helps keep the floors of the houses clean and cuts back on the work the lady of the house has to do, since she doesn't have to scrub the dirt off of her floors. Westerners when they visit are asked to remove their shoes before entering a Saalangal house because the roads are not paved, and as we all know, they can track in quite a bit of mud. The Saalangal also have these cloth slippers to wear around the house (usually cotton, with the sole being several layers of cloth sewn together). ________________________________________________ It's worth the risk of burning, to have a second chance...