Shoes are considered dirty in most cultures (except maybe in the New York Fashion scene where they are considered religious relics). In Japan and India we typically leave them outside the home before stepping in. There is one glamour exception to the typical aversion we have handling shoes here.

That is the North Indian tradition of Joota Chupai which is basically a hostage situation involving the groom’s shoes. The bride’s side tries to steal the shoe and the groom’s side has to protect the pair. In the event of a successful abduction a prolonged negotiation involving both parties commences typically involving a ransom and exchanges of trivial insults.

In this picture, there is a mass of youngsters fighting to both steal and protect Nakul’s innocent shoes (a beautiful Jodhpuri Jooti, picture on request only)