New York Times says it's rude to ask guests to remove their shoes


A recent party guide published by the New York Times sparked heated discussion on social media regarding footwear etiquette in private residences. A suggestion from the guide that it’s rude to ask people to remove their shoes drew strong disapproval from many Asian Americans and individuals from cultures where shoe removal is customary.

  • Not in Asian households: Comedian Hari Kondabolu shared a screenshot of the entry and wrote: “When you find out who doesn’t have Asian friends.” Those in favor of shoe-free homes commented that it's disrespectful to ignore a host's request, noting the cultural significance of cleanliness and respect for personal spaces.

  • Other cultures chime in: “Why allow dirt, germs to enter into your homes along with footwear?” wrote another X user. “BTW even in Turkey they don’t allow shoes inside the homes.” Other users also point out that many European and African countries follow this practice for the same reason. This stance is supported by research indicating that keeping shoes off helps maintain cleaner indoor environments due to the high bacteria levels found on shoes and floors.

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