Attempt number two… Grr!
I would politely ask that if you ever make your way over to my house (and you are very welcome) that you remove your shoes before entering. I don’t like to vacuum, and taking off your shoes means that there is less dirt flying around my house (or in this case, apartment…)
Koreans believe the same thing. Many restaurants require that patrons remove their shoes (and sometimes even don sandals) before entering. Every morning I make my way through the children who have stopped at the front of the school to remove their outer shoes and put on their indoor shoes. I too am expected to remove my outdoor shoes (unfortunately I rarely do… I like my shoes to match my outfits and can’t be bothered to carry a different pair of shoes to school every day…. Shhh!)
Lesson 14 for my grade sixes utilizes the phrase “Don’t take off your shoes”. Now, I don’t know about you, but most of the people that I know (in fact, all of the people that I know…) request that their visitors remove their shoes before wandering around their homes. Upon teaching this lesson I proceed to tell my students that if they ever come over to my house they are required to take off their shoes. I try to instill in my students the idea that almost all “Westerners” will require that they remove their shoes when they visit – just like they are expected to do so in Korean culture. My co-teacher, however, doesn’t agree. She lived in Seattle for a year. During that time, her landlord came over to her condo and entered the house without removing his shoes. She also mentioned that there is no spot to leave your shoes in a “Western” home. In Korea there is a step down in the front hall, a spot for people to leave their shoes.I tried to explain to her that often times service people don’t remove their shoes, but everyone else does. Still, my co-teacher would proceed to tell the students that it depends on the family.
Now, I know that not everyone removes their shoes before entering their homes, but my feeling is that the majority of people do. So, I’m conducting a poll. Please leave a comment to tell me whether or not you (and your family… friends…) remove your shoes before (or upon) entering your home. Am I crazy (well, don’t answer that…)? Do Westerners really NOT remove their shoes upon entering their homes… ? Am I really not the norm?
[edit: The girl who says "Oh, don't take off your shoes, we don't take off our shoes in the house" is white. She is clearly from America or Canada, hence my co-teacher's belief that this statement is true of all North Americans...]
Attempt number two… Grr!
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