Nationality: Indian American
Residence: Mumbai, India
Date of Performance/Collection: April 2020
Primary Language: English
One of the most prevalent superstitions growing up in an Indian household was the belief that if your shoes or footwear was overturned, then it was said to cause fights- give off negative energies in the house. So you’re never supposed to- you’re supposed to flip the footwear so that the underside is facing the ground. You know. It isn’t even about the superstition anymore but I, like, subconsciously flip over my footwear because it bothers me now. And I figured- I- brrrbbrr- I figure it comes from the fact that you know, overturned shoes, you know, people used to trip on them or whatever, that’s why.
N is a close friend from India who grew up in a half hindu, half muslim household. I stayed with him for a couple months and I came to realize parents are rather traditional in their habits despite being progressive thinkers. One of the habits that N seems to have picked up on from his parents is correcting the positioning of shoes.
N relayed this information to me over a facetime call. It was something that we had discussed earlier in our lives and I had asked him to look back and narrate bits of that conversation.
N had an interpretation of why this custom could be in place. I agree with him although I heard another reason as well as to why this custom is followed: the dirt from the bottom of the shoe may get into the air or food.