Shoes at the Door
In or Out?
Of course you know (or should know) that people in East Asia leave their doors at the door when they enter a house. In Korea this also applies to schools and restaurants where you sit on the floor. All the children thus run around in their socks, some barefoot. The schools have slippers for their teachers and important guests (parents).
I read that in Japan the custom is to keep the shoes pointed to the door to make leaving easier and faster. In Korea, though, I observed the complete opposite: all the shoes are pointed away from the door. Well, the shoes also get moved around in cramped spaces.
I mentioned the Japanese custom to my director today. He said Koreans deliberately keep the shoes pointed away from the door. I didn't quite understand his explanation, but I think he was trying to say that pointing them toward the door draws all the good luck out of the house/building, instead of letting it flow in.
Just thought the slight difference in culture is quite interesting.