Monday 3 November 2014

What your home says about culture: the front door

Have you ever thought about how your home reflects culture? 

The above photo shows my porch/front doorway area. 

The front door of my flat is just outside the photo on the right. The door you see is for the toilet, and I'm taking the photo from the bathroom (well, sink, shower and washing machine room). Just outside the left of the photo is the doorway to the kitchen. 

Now you're situated, can you spot what's cultural about this photo?

Here are some closeups to help you out. (And, yes, I really need to put my birkenstock sandals and other summer shoes away!)

My (fixed!) front door (And I will soon have some actual winter coats hanging here).

Any guesses?

Well, the first thing you do when you arrive in a Czech home is take off your shoes because shoes are not worn inside homes. So all (in season) shoes live in the hallway and you only put them on when you are on your way out the door.

This rule applies whether it's your home or you're a guest in the home. 

And in my home I have my own slippers that I happily wear around my flat. But what about guests? That's why there's a little box filled with various pairs of slippers in different sizes. 

Sometimes when I am about to head out the door I realise I've forgotten something I need. If I have my shoes on I battle taking them off or not. If I'm running late normally they don't get taken off - but I then feel horribly guilty, and tip-toe across my kitchen floor to get whatever I need.

When I first started coming to the Czech Republic we were told about this rule and it seemed rather strange. But now? Now I feel rude when I'm in someone's home in the UK or US and have my shoes on. And taking my shoes off as I enter someone's home has become automatic.

It makes a lot of sense too - it keeps dirt off hard floors and out of carpets. And anything that helps reduce the amount of cleaning that has to be done sounds like a wonderful idea!

I love this little rule in Czech, and, if one day I find myself living somewhere else, I imagine it's a rule I'll carry with me to future homes.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you've described this "rule" ... and also that it became automatic to you ha :)