Friday, January 30, 2015

Why I do care SMALL STUFFS so much- why you put shoes on inside house! -

I care very much of small stuff in daily life, which sometime make me wonder, stress and laugh. At the end, these might leads new learning. One of things is about feet.

I am not talking about its smell or shape. I care manner related to feet.

Should I remove it or not? that is the problem

Philippines is part of Asia. So once people enter the house, they remove shoes. However, every time, I see someone wears shoes at the same time some people do not. These shoes or slipper are not for inside room, these are obviously for outside. In fact, I saw these people just came inside the house with shoes. Then, they do not remove after all.

For some reasons, I could not find it is nice. First, it is not hygienic. Shoes surely bring darts from outside. One does not wear got these darts. Besides, if there is a baby in the house, surely baby is crawl on his or her hands and knees, eventually baby got darts too.

Second, it is for me not so respectful. This second reason come from my cultural background. If you get enter the house with shoes on in my cultural context, it is also sign of insult. In movies, Yakuza enters someone's house with their shoes on. 

What is wrong with shoes? Person with shoes often seen after funeral. Casket is carried by several people, at the time people cannot afford time to put in and out their shoes. So, people associated to this, then people think it is bad luck.  

I do not judge these who wear shoes inside house. But I was so disturbed sometimes.

Steps of your feet

I care person steps over others' body. Especially person steps over higher than butt of elders. This action was strictly prohibited among family members. It is related to superstition.

So when I saw this often here, I felt uncomfortable then I almost stop them doing so but I tried not.

And I care person place his or her feet (especially with shoes) to something holy or important such as family member's pictures and so on. When I was child, I was not allowed to put my feet to the family alter even the alter was elevated and my feet did not reach at all.
Are these too much? 

Not at all for me because I grew up with unwritten rule, these are part of my life.

Concept of in and out
Associated to mentioned above, I think one of significance of Japanese house structure is having a space attached to front door, which is called Genkan(玄関),the place to remove shoes  receive guests and clear the boundary in and outside our house. 

Some says we usually do not show feet especially sole because it is possibly dirty. But removing shoes is a sign of openness and acceptance too. Anyway, in Japan all visitors are not accommodated in the room. Hosts sometimes receive a guest in genkan. 

There are several reasons of explain why we need to remove our shoes but it may also come from simply practicality because shoes damage floor and tatami floor.  

Whatever the reasons, I do not still get used to house not having clear boundary with shoes and without :D I may get used to it or when I have own place, I will create a genkan space! 

Why I care this small thing? because how I grew up.  

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