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Singapore ettiquette removing shoes before entering a home

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jbsing
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Singapore ettiquette removing shoes before entering a home

Postby jbsing » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 1:23 pm

Sorry to post such a silly question but I am not sure what to do.

I've noticed that everyone (whether it be delivery man, helper, or a guest) in Singapore removes their shoes before entering our home.

When they leave, am I suppose to wait until they put their shoes on before I close the door? Or is it ok to close the door on them while they are fiddling with their shoes, would this be considered rude?

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the lynx
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Postby the lynx » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 1:30 pm

It would be courteous to see them off all the way until they leave your doors with their shoes on.

The same applies to Japanese homes too.

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Re: Singapore ettiquette removing shoes before entering a ho

Postby IOP » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 1:37 pm

jbsing wrote:Sorry to post such a silly question but I am not sure what to do.

I've noticed that everyone (whether it be delivery man, helper, or a guest) in Singapore removes their shoes before entering our home.

When they leave, am I suppose to wait until they put their shoes on before I close the door? Or is it ok to close the door on them while they are fiddling with their shoes, would this be considered rude?


"removes their shoes before entering our home" - the same we have in Europe, but I heard that the same may not apply in Australia

Yes, you need to watch them util they get into the lift.

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Postby sensei_ » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 2:38 pm

yeah aussies wear their shoes everywhere, and that includes the walk in robe.

also i thought it was common courtesy to see someone off at the gate regardless of who they are.

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Postby teck21 » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 3:19 pm

I wait till they turn their back and walk away with their shoes on before proceeding to shut the gate. Seems like the perfectly natural thing to do no?

This subject reminds me of an incident many years ago when I was living in Melbourne city, waiting an interminably long time for the tram to arrive (turns out some fool was holding his girlfriend hostage with a samurai sword at a nearby traffic junction).

So I was having my cigarette, and someone caged one off me. So we started talking, turns out he was from some Pacific island, had heritage that was part Chinese/Indian/French/pacific islander/and so on. I saw nothing but white guy though.

And he commented on how he didn't like Japanese because they insisted that visitors remove their footwear before entering the home of the host.

Of course I wasn't going to admit that's exactly how I do it too, and always have, and certainly didn't think it was going be a worthwhile exercise debating the point with him.

But I do wonder, why do some cultures wear shoes meant for the outdoors into the home? Not intended as a dig or anything, but not wearing shoes that have trampled on 'stuff' outside the home, inside the home seems the perfectly logical thing to do?

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Postby the lynx » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 3:30 pm

teck21 wrote:I wait till they turn their back and walk away with their shoes on before proceeding to shut the gate. Seems like the perfectly natural thing to do no?

This subject reminds me of an incident many years ago when I was living in Melbourne city, waiting an interminably long time for the tram to arrive (turns out some fool was holding his girlfriend hostage with a samurai sword at a nearby traffic junction).

So I was having my cigarette, and someone caged one off me. So we started talking, turns out he was from some Pacific island, had heritage that was part Chinese/Indian/French/pacific islander/and so on. I saw nothing but white guy though.

And he commented on how he didn't like Japanese because they insisted that visitors remove their footwear before entering the home of the host.

Of course I wasn't going to admit that's exactly how I do it too, and always have, and certainly didn't think it was going be a worthwhile exercise debating the point with him.

But I do wonder, why do some cultures wear shoes meant for the outdoors into the home? Not intended as a dig or anything, but not wearing shoes that have trampled on 'stuff' outside the home, inside the home seems the perfectly logical thing to do?


This. My exact sentiments about wearing shoes indoors. But I'm Asian so sue me. :mrgreen:

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 3:36 pm

teck21 wrote:I wait till they turn their back and walk away with their shoes on before proceeding to shut the gate. Seems like the perfectly natural thing to do no?

This subject reminds me of an incident many years ago when I was living in Melbourne city, waiting an interminably long time for the tram to arrive (turns out some fool was holding his girlfriend hostage with a samurai sword at a nearby traffic junction).

So I was having my cigarette, and someone caged one off me. So we started talking, turns out he was from some Pacific island, had heritage that was part Chinese/Indian/French/pacific islander/and so on. I saw nothing but white guy though.

And he commented on how he didn't like Japanese because they insisted that visitors remove their footwear before entering the home of the host.

Of course I wasn't going to admit that's exactly how I do it too, and always have, and certainly didn't think it was going be a worthwhile exercise debating the point with him.

But I do wonder, why do some cultures wear shoes meant for the outdoors into the home? Not intended as a dig or anything, but not wearing shoes that have trampled on 'stuff' outside the home, inside the home seems the perfectly logical thing to do?


For some people, it isn't a big deal. Case in point, some Australians go around barefoot outside.

For others, that's what doormats are for.

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Postby JayCee » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 3:39 pm

Being a Brit I can only really comment on the culture there, but asking someone to take their shoes of before coming into your house would generally be construed as saying "you're a dirty bugger and I don't want you dirtying my house", not the most polite inference :P As Nakatago says, that's what doormats are for. Most people have the good grace to take their shoes off if they know their shoes are dirty anyway.

Another reason would be that it's freezing most of the time, so your feet can get cold if you take off your shoes, and it can be a hassle to take them off if you're wearing big boots etc... In Singapore, they walk around in scabby flip-flops most of the time so it's easy to kick them off.

I take off my shoes here in Singapore, but when I'm back home I don't even think about it
Last edited by JayCee on Fri, 20 Jul 2012 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby nakatago » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 3:41 pm

JayCee wrote:Another reason would be that it's freezing most of the time, so your feet can get cold if you take off your shoes.


Some would argue that it can also get freezing in Japan but the Japanese have the foresight of having a dedicated spot inside their houses for taking off/putting on shoes.

What I don't understand is they expect people to leave shoes outside their houses here in Singapore but they put a proper spot to store shoes so they won't get wet when it rains, when the cleaning guy comes or they don't just get freakin' stolen...and no, putting shoe racks outside doesn't count.
Last edited by nakatago on Fri, 20 Jul 2012 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby JayCee » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 3:43 pm

nakatago wrote:
JayCee wrote:Another reason would be that it's freezing most of the time, so your feet can get cold if you take off your shoes.


Some would argue that it can also get freezing in Japan but the Japan have the foresight of having a dedicated spot inside their houses for taking off/putting on shoes.


Agreed, it's just a cultural difference, we like to cook our fish and they like it raw, and we don't bow either :P
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Postby nakatago » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 3:46 pm

JayCee wrote:
nakatago wrote:
JayCee wrote:Another reason would be that it's freezing most of the time, so your feet can get cold if you take off your shoes.


Some would argue that it can also get freezing in Japan but the Japan have the foresight of having a dedicated spot inside their houses for taking off/putting on shoes.


Agreed, it's just a cultural difference, we like to cook our fish and they like it raw, and we don't bow either :P


Speaking of cultural differences, I was in the MRT once and this Japanese guy was on the phone, covering the his mouth as he spoke into the mouthpiece making every effort he can to speak softly into his keitai denwa...while several feet away, people yakking away really loudly on their handphones.

:lol:

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Postby sensei_ » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 4:08 pm

nakatago wrote:Speaking of cultural differences, I was in the MRT once and this Japanese guy was on the phone, covering the his mouth as he spoke into the mouthpiece making every effort he can to speak softly into his keitai denwa...while several feet away, people yakking away really loudly on their handphones.

:lol:


you didnt see the episode on top gear when clarkson vs may/hammond in japan (gtr vs bullet train)

hammond was talking on the phone and got a few stares of disgust.

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 4:40 pm

sensei_ wrote:
nakatago wrote:Speaking of cultural differences, I was in the MRT once and this Japanese guy was on the phone, covering the his mouth as he spoke into the mouthpiece making every effort he can to speak softly into his keitai denwa...while several feet away, people yakking away really loudly on their handphones.

:lol:


you didnt see the episode on top gear when clarkson vs may/hammond in japan (gtr vs bullet train)

hammond was talking on the phone and got a few stares of disgust.


Don't need to. I'm well aware that talking on the phone is frowned upon in Japan as opposed to marketplace chatter in trains in Southeast Asia.


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