This post is also available in: Spanish
The type of footwear we choose are related with the season of the year, meaning flip-flops are popular in summer time, at least in Spain. In contrast, this is not the case in those countries where the weather doesn´t change dramatically over the course of the year, as in Myanmar; therefore, they use the same type of footwear throughout the year.
Although the country has clearly differentiated parts, it is characterized by a warm climate; so, there people don´t have to choose the type of shoes they wear in direct relation to the season. In fact, the whole population wears flip-flops, something that caught my attention, perhaps because I can´t stand them.
You may well ask what my aversion is to flip-flops; while they are the perfect footwear to go to the beach, in my humble opinion, they are not suitable attire when attending a class at University. Nowadays it seems that we apply the rule: “anything goes” to everything; however, I´d like to point out a scenario to my student: would you come to class dressed as if you were going to a wedding? Then, why do you think it is ok to come to class dressed as if you were going to the beach? Anyway, everything is relative, and I bet that it is no sense to pose this question to students in Myanmar where they wear flip-flops in any occasion.
Running in flip-flops appears extremely difficult to me, but we could often see children running down a slope, and people driving or biking with them on, in Myanmar. Although there is a largely recognized version of the flip-flop, we came across some that were decorated or that had heels built-in as well as ones that were made from different fabric such as velvet.
All in all, although we knew that “when in Rome do as the romans do”, we still carried on wearing our sport shoes despite the flip-flops being a more convenient option, especially when entering and leaving a pagoda. And even though I “despise” flip-flops, I ended up buying a pair of decorated, velvet flip-flops in a local market in Mandalay whereas my friends bought other souvenirs.
Are you fond of flip-flop?