Sweden.se/blogs: No Shoes Indoors
When I lived in Austria, I quickly learned that there was a totally different approach to indoor footgear. Everywhere you went, you were expected to take off your shoes and put on one of the many pairs of slippers (nearly always Ikea brand, incidentally) stored by the door. This was true even in my workplace—we all took off our shoes at the door and wore slippers for the rest of the day.
Austria’s a little strange, though. Despite the “no shoes indoors” rule, many workplaces still permit smoking indoors, which I still can’t believe. I concluded that the shoelessness situation was one of many things that were a little topsy-turvy in that part of the world.
Then I came to Sweden, where I discovered that Austria is not an anomaly at all. In fact, it is just one of the many shoeless nations in the world, a group that also includes the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Thailand, Korea, and Japan (as well as potentially the rest of East Asia and Eastern Europe, but I couldn’t confirm it).
On the other hand, the shoe-wearing nations seem to be made up of all the Anglo-speaking countries, plus, according to unverified sources, Mexico, Brazil, and presumably the rest of South America as well.