Monday, January 31, 2011

Not Always in Slippers


re-post

In my opinion, providing slippers for guests is not necessary. If people know the home is shoes-off, they can bring their own slippers and if they have not visited before it is hardly a great endurance to be in socks or bare feet.

Some people insist that providing slippers is a must by pointing out the example of Japan:

In Japan, you are not expected to go bare foot; the host will always give you slippers.


This is actually an half-truth. It is true that hosts will normally provide slippers in Japanese homes. However, these are intended to be worn in the hallway and kitchen. Bedrooms and living rooms normally have tatami (grass mat) flooring. It is expected that one removes slippers and step on the tatami in either stocking or bare feet.

Carpet has become more common in Japan and often it is expected that one removes slippers even before stepping into carpeted rooms.

9 comments:

Sandro said...

I've found the photo source. It's notable the author, most likely a New Yorker, has found nothing special to mention about stockinged feet; the photo was published because of three legs in the picture, one "missing". Does shoes-off become something so common in NY, that there is no sense to mention it especially?

Moderate Mouse said...

In the third sentences in the second paragraph from the end, I noticed that where I understood it was supposed to say "these are INTENDED", it says "these are INTEND" (Empahses added).

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandro,

Just thought you might be intersted - I was talking to the young lady we mentioned this morning and in the course of conversation she said that she does'nt wear heels because she is fairly tall and prefers being in stockinged feet in the boutique to flat shoes.

Viv.

Sandro said...

Hi Viv,
thanks again for the feedback )
This is quite a usual point for tall ladies removing their shoes willingly. Yet I think in this case she might just wear flats. If she still prefers stockinged feet, there must be some other reasons besides tallness.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandro,

Have you come across this type of thing before with taller women?

I think also she just prefers being shoeless - she said she likes having her feet free.

Viv.

Sandro said...

Hello, Viv,
yes, I have faced a few examples both around myself and in the Internet.

Sandro said...

to clarify, Internet examples are told by ladies themselves; around me, it's sometimes difficult to identify the reason as shoes-off is common around the Caucasus I live in, and you never know if there is any other reason but the etiquette. Yet I can see tall girls are more likely to remove their shoes outdoors.

Shirlene Hinsey said...

I think it is a Southeast Asian custom to remove shoes upon entering the house. Which I think is a nice norm that our family also has in Indianapolis. A lot of people might find it absurd but come to think of it, you wore those shoes around and who knows what dirt or bacteria it can bring inside the house right? And that's why carpeted rooms have become common; as for the feet to be comfortable. And leaving the shoes off will also make cleaning easier.

Celestial Fundy said...

Shirlene, thanks a lot for visiting.

It is practiced in Southeast Asia, but also in South, Central and East Asia, as well as Eastern Europe, the middle east and Scandinavia.