Posted February 25th, 2008 by Peter · 12 Comments

ShoeRackYou’ve got foot odor. Your asian friend invites you to his or her house to eat dinner with their family. You are excited. “Wow, I get to enter an asian household.. I wonder what it’ll be like.” Stepping up the stairs, images of oriental things like paintings and Chinese Calligraphy race through your mind. “Do they have a table with chairs, or a kneeling table?” You continue walking up the porch, until finally the door opens. It’s exactly as you think it will be, but better. The priceless china, the beautiful paintings on the walls. The fan hanging over the sofa, and the staple personal computer in the other corner of the room. It is a sight that you will never forget, an immersive experience into the lives of your asian friends. However, you look down to see shoes and sandals sprawled across the entrance to the living room. “Oh… no…”

sweatshopRemember a previous post about the pride asians have in their own country’s products? You know, that one that talks about how asians love Michelle Kwan, Yao Ming, and Yi Jianlian? Here’s the truth about the statement. It holds true for pretty much every asian product. Kids in Chinese and Vietnamese sweatshops toil hour after hour, day after day, to supply the world with casual and athletic running shoes. Needless to say, Asians are very prideful of items that their own kind have had to work to make. They will also work hard to make sure that these products are used to the max in order to outlast the “Made in China” moniker. There are many other reasons:

1) Cleanliness: Asians love a clean house. On New Years day, it is a sign of whether or not a family will be successful. They know what shoes have been through. If you have ever been to the men’s bathroom, you will know why shoes shouldn’t be worn indoors. What about that dog crap that you stepped on walking to school, or even that gum that stuck to your shoes while running outside? Asians have enough to worry about, and cleaning floors with shoe marks is not one of them.

2) Tradition: In many asian cultures, it is customary to take off one’s shoes upon entering a house or restaurant. Asian parents and elders will scold at you if they see shoes covering your feet in their households. Especially in Japan is this evident, where you will receive a pair of slippers upon entrance. They will also give you bathroom slippers to avoid those slippery puddles of urine. It’s a great idea if you really think about it.

3) Geography and Location: A great deal of Asian countries are located near the tropic of Cancer, which is very humid and temperate year round. The coldest day in Southern Vietnam during winter is one of the warmest days of the year in Southern California. Asians have had to cope with living in these humid and wet conditions without damaging the inners of their houses (don’t forget the foot odor). Over time, this has caused Asian people to develop horrible sweat regulation techniques, which results in foot odor. We must also remember that households for the longest time have had hardwood floors. Carpet has only grown in popularity over the last 30 years.gator
Now imagine an asian person walking into a white household. “Do I need to take my shoes off?” “Oh no.. it’s alright.” The asian person continues walking through the room, extremely cautious of their every step and being careful not to ruin the delicate folds in the carpet. They think about all the dirt and grime in the carpet, and suddenly, the walls start to close in, cornering the asian and intimidating them with its evil dirtiness. The asian person will recover and play along for a while, until they finally can’t take it anymore. “Can I go to the restroom?” “It’s around the corner” “Alright.” They take their shoes off in the restroom. “Gosh.. I’m so glad I’m asian.

There you have it. Asians have an in-negligible right to take their shoes off. Asian people have worked so hard to be able to produce shoes for the world. Their pride and spirit will be crushed if those shoes ever touch their own carpets. Not wearing shoes indoors also preserves cleanliness (which in America is seen as close to Godliness), tradition, and serves as a testament to adaptations asians have made to their geographical dispositions. Must I say the next sentence? No, but I will: Asians like Not Wearing Shoes Indoors.

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