Millions and millions of years ago, the Earth was formed. On its land walked different animals, some gigantic, some tiny. Millions of years later, humans evolved. They walked this land far and wide – barefoot.
Fast forward to millions of years later today: humans in the fanciest of clothes, watches, glares, and – shoes!
Is barefoot still a way of life? Are we still in touch with the ancient ways of our ancestors? The answer is – yes! While in Asian countries it is mandatory to remove shoes while entering the house or religious places, in New Zealand walking barefoot is a way of life.
This tiny remote island nation in the South Pacific Ocean almost 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Australia has rich culture and traditions. How can a tiny nation have so much richness? It is all thanks to its indigenous tribe, the Maori. New Zealand cherishes its arts, traditions, and cultural practices.
Now one such practice is to walk barefoot, especially during summers. The Kiwis, as New Zealanders are known, do not like shoes. We are not kidding you! They really don’t, including those who live in the cities. You can spot them walking barefoot on the roads, in malls, in cinema halls, and other public places.
Summer is the time when the Kiwis like to reconnect with nature, slow down their fast-paced life, and time spent enjoying good food with family and friends. Kiwis call summer their social time – all barefoot.
Going barefoot has had many meanings to it. Ancient people had no idea of shoes. And they liked being in touch with nature. Then with some developments, humans started wearing sandals to protect their feet. Then came a time when wearing footwear got associated with social status. The Royals and the emperors wore sandals, whereas the prisoners, slaves, and laborers walked barefoot. This idea got more weight during the industrialization era when anyone who walked without shoes was labeled – a poor person.
The world kept changing its views on wearing shoes, but New Zealanders take pride in this tradition. People here are habitually barefoot.
Did you know that walking barefoot has positive effects on the feet? Walking on the grass, on the beach, and garden area can soothe the nervous system. Walking barefoot also trains the feet to develop healthily – that’s what the studies have found! Kiwis are showing the world the right way to live close to nature. And that’s why Felix loves them! The Mysticals also like roaming barefoot when they go to Felix’s garden or are playing games.
Let us know what’s the tradition in your country when it comes to shoes? Do you also roam barefoot and enjoy the green-rocky-sandy-concrete ground of our planet Earth?