Hannah and Je together

Monday, 30 June 2008

Shoes on in a house

Filed under: Lang:English — Jemyoung Leigh @ 15:08
Tags: , , , , ,

One of the big difference in culture between Corea and Canada is, I think, the shoes in a house.

Usually, people wear shoes in the house in Canada. Or even though they do not wear shoes in the house, they do not ask their guest to take off the shoes. But I almost always take my shoes off in other houses.

But in Corea and in Japan, people must take shoes off in the house. They must leave their shoes in the foyer. In Corean and Japanese culture, if you walk inside of the house with your shoes on, that directly implies you are extremely insulting the owner and every people living in the house.

So, if you are visiting Corea or Japan (or Corean and Japanese people in your area), make sure to take your shoes off even the owner says OK. I guarantee that it will not be OK and if you take off and leave your shoes in the foyer, your host or hostess will be pleased.

In the World War II, Japanese government encouraged their people to fight against US and UK. They just said, UK and US people live with the shoes on inside of the house (Germans also do that but the government did not mention that because they are allied). And Japanese were greatly angry about them and found enough reason to fight – “What? Shoes on inside of the house? They are even worse than the beasts! We must beat  them! We must fight against them!”

It is funny but that is true. They were angry when they heard that, then if you walk your shoes on inside of their house, how much more will they be angry? Well, these days, they are different – they understand the culture wearing shoes on inside, but it is still extremely rude and insulting for other people to wear shoes on in their house.

한국과 일본에서는 집안에서 당연히 신발을 벗지만, 여기서는 대체로 신발을 신고 산다. 가끔 실내에서 슬리퍼나 아니면 우리처럼 맨발로 사는 사람들이 정말 가끔 있긴 하지만, 그들도 손님에게 신발을 벗으라고 요구하지는 않는다. 아니, 못한다.

내 느낌에는 손님에게 신발을 벗으라고 하는 것은 굉장한 무례인 듯 하다. 여기 광고 중에, 남편이 차고를 엄청 멋지게 꾸민 뒤에 아내에게 자랑하며 보여주는 데, 아내가 차고 안에 들어가자 신발을 벗으라고 얘기하면서 끝나는 게 있다. 집안에서도 신발을 신고 사는데, 차고에서 신발을 벗이라고 하는 것은 그만큼 차고를 잘 꾸몄다는 얘기가 된다 (케네이디언 타이어 광고였던 것 같다). 여기 문화에서는 엄청 황당한 (그리고 웃긴) 광고인 듯 하다.

그러니, 캐나다인 손님을 받을 경우에, 기분이 좀 쌍콤하더라도 꾹 참는 것이 좋을 듯 하다. 아니면 문화의 차이를 설명하고 신발을 벗으라고 하던가 (손님들이 당혹스러워 할 것이 뻔함). 영화에 가끔 보듯이, 이상한 부족에 찾아갔는데, ‘문화의 차이를 설명하고’ 살아있는 벌레를 눈앞에서 짖이긴 후에 먹으라고 시키는 것과 약간은 일맥상통할 듯… 🙂

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