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South Korea: The Meaning of Footwashing

The Asia Pages wonders why Koreans keep asking her if her boyfriend, who she thinks is great otherwise, also washes her feet. She asks readers to explain the emotional significance of footwashing in Korean culture.

1 comment

  • Steve

    How long have you wondered why Marcellus got so angry in Pulp Fiction when a man gave his girlfriend a foot massage? The idea that certain nerve endings and pressure points in human hands and feet that correspond to the internal organs of the body is wide-spread throughout Asian cultures. Western readers may be familiar with a treatment called Reflexology (which is loosely-based on the Chinese principles of acupuncture but applied to the pressure points of the feet). Physically speaking therefore, the feet are an extremely sensitive part of the body and are at times associated with deep intimacy and spiritual purity (both monks and laypersons ritually wash their feet before retiring for the evening in Asian countries). Inviting ones lover to share in this very sensitive area of the body either through massage or washing thus communicates their willingness to trust the other person with the care of such an intimate and pure aspect of themselves. [Still confused about the Pulp Fiction foot massage scene? Ask Quentin Tarrantino~]

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