Sunday, December 27, 2015

Greek Lady

As usual, I have been spending Christmas at my parents' house. They are hospitable people and this Christmas, they invited a Greek woman and her son to spend Christmas day with us.

My parents do not mind whether guests take their shoes off or not. The Greek lady did not remove her shoes and she did not remove her son's shoes when he entered. I can't really blame her; I don't think it is the custom to remove shoes in Greece. However, it was a wet day and I think most British guests would at least have offered to remove their shoes and told their children to remove their shoes. This is pretty standard etiquette these days.

It always feels a bit strange being in a home with somebody who has their shoes on, especially a child wearing shoes. It just feels a bit wrong, even if my parents aren't bothered about it.

13 comments:

Paul said...

I am sure that Greek woman and her son did not make any mess even if they kept their shoes on. Kudos to your parents for not making their guests remove their shoes.

Bob said...

I can appreciate why you felt like that Matthew. Even if you are not accustomed to removing your shoes when visiting, it would seem to me that good manners would prevail and shoes removed on a wet day. In the woman's defense perhaps she would have felt awkward being shoeless while the hosts were wearing shoes.

Paul said...

Some of us feel awkward being shoeless in someone else's house, period.

Matthew Celestine said...

Actually my mother took her shoes off straight away, and my father changed into slippers not long after.

Bob said...

well then in view of that information I am perplexed as to why your guest did not pick up on that and remove her shoes as well as her son's

Matthew Celestine said...

Perhaps she felt removing shoes would be overly familiar, something appropriate for hosts, but not for guests,

Bob said...

If I interpreted your comment correctly "Actually my mother took her shoes off straight away" to mean that your mother and the woman entered together then I find it quite odd that she did not offer.

Paul said...

From my experience in Spain, it is a big no-no to remove your shoes at someone else's house, even if the hosts for some reason remove theirs. I think Greece is similar to that, as are most states in the US.

Paul said...

Definitely. That's why I never ever voluntarily remove my shoes at others' houses, unless the hosts explicitly ask me to, and even then I usually first reply with the question "Are you sure?"

Mark said...

It is interesting the cultural and etiquette differences here. I suspect that an English person upon seeing their host remove their shoes would either ask or automatically remove theirs. Istill think that there are many here who arent able to ask their guests to remove their shoes and suffer in silence as they walk on their floors in shoes

Paul said...

I don't quite believe in "suffering in silence." If shoes bother you that much, go ahead and ask your guests to take them off - although in my book it is rude and inhospitable unless the weather is inclement.

Mark said...

Well Paul,many do suffer in silence. However,I am pleased you have the courage of your convictions.

Paul said...

Mark, I see no point in suffering. If you think your guests made some mess with their shoes, go and clean your floors after your guests leave. Sometimes you have to go through a little "suffering" to accommodate your guests. That, or just let them know your preferences, although I do not blame those who thinks these preferences are weird or inhospitable.