Left foot first, men!
The group and I took a trip (June 9) to Qufu — the birthplace of Confucius, so we visited his former home, which has now turned into a huge exhibit. It was really beautiful and had a lot of traditional Chinese style architecture, which I thought was really great to see.
The tour guide informed us on a lot of the legend of the area.
One of the things that has really stuck with me was the explanation for why all of the doorsteps in the area, and much of China actually, are all raised up from the ground itself.
This was something I had been wondering since I arrived.
Apparently the belief that ghosts traveled the area was rather common, but equally as common was the belief if the doorstep was raised up, the ghosts could not enter the room.
Finally my question had been answered!
Another piece of tradition I learned concerning the doorstep is in history men always entered the door with their left foot first and women with their right.
I can't remember the reason for this, or if there even was a good reason, but I'll tell you what, each raised doorstep I've come across I've stepped over with my left foot since then.
I swear. I'm not superstitious! I also thought the doors were very elaborate. Many of them there and in the rest of China are covered in symmetrical patterns of brass bumps that protrude from the surface. I was told this was a symbol of strength.
This makes sense considering some of those doors looked impenetrable. There were many statues and pedestals that were very beautifully decorated. Some of them had been worked on for many years. We were told certain ones granted a person good luck if one were to touch them.
Needless to say, I touched a few different pedestals that day. I need all the luck I can get!! One of the more elaborate pedestals was touched by a man from France. That man went on to become the president of France.
My group joked that maybe now I'll become the president!
— Dan Copes, a junior health sciences major