Giving Shoes

You can not give shoes away to someone as a gift.  Doing so gives them the means to walk out of your life.

Lucy lived in Taiwan for most of her life and moved to Hawaii in the 1980s when her sons moved there.  She learned this folk belief from her parents when she was a child.  She does not remember from what context she learned this in, however, she believes in was in regards to a birthday gift for a family relative.  The idea is that by giving someone shoes, you are telling them to walk away from you.  This belief is very popular in China and is guarded against very carefully.  She strongly believes in this belief and proudly told me that she has never given someone a pair of shoes before.

I have also heard of this folk belief.  My cousin told me it one day when she asked me for a dollar.   When I asked her why she wanted a dollar, she told me that it was because she had a pair of sandals that she wanted me to have because she bought a pair that was too small for her.  When I asked her about the dollar, she told me this belief.  I find this belief to be a great indicator of how much our culture believes in the fates and making our own luck.  While I don’t like the idea that I will never get a pair of shoes as a gift, I like the meaning behind it.  I feel like it means that people will avoid any possible cause for friendships or relationships to end or be broken.