reddit: Hello, Europe! Do you wear shoes indoors?
Another discussion on reddit about what the custom is in different European countries. The big cleavage comes out between Scandinavian and Central/ East Europeans who all remove their shoes and those from Mediterranean countries where shoes are kept on in homes. At one point somebody wonders if religion has something to do with the difference, but then it is quickly established that it cuts across Orthodox/ Catholic/ Protestant lines.
It's kind of interesting that the shoes off/ on border in the south-east is between Greece and her northern neighbours, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria. I don't quite get why this should be. Greece shares religion with Macedonians, Bulgarians and some Albanians and all of them were under Ottoman rule. Climate might be a difference, but winters in Greece can't be that much milder than those in Albania or Bulgaria. Is it down to the fact that Greece was not under Communism?
The original poster is from Bugaria. He says that removing shoes in his country is not down to tradition, but just the practicality of keeping out dirt. I've heard some people in Bulgaria would like to move away from removing shoes because it's uncool, meaning un-western, but no doubt practicality will prevent that. Removing shoes may be uncool, but that doesn't make the streets any cleaner.