Shoes were symbolic in ancient China. Men’s boots from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Photo: Getty Images Shoes were symbolic in ancient China. Men’s boots from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Photo: Getty Images
Shoes were symbolic in ancient China. Men’s boots from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Photo: Getty Images
Wee Kek Koon
Opinion

Opinion

Reflections by Wee Kek Koon

How Chinese parable of man who wanted to buy shoes explains the state of affairs in Hong Kong

  • Parable of the Man of Zheng, who blindly followed rules and ended up barefoot, mocks those who find comfort in adhering to rules however impractical
  • Then there’s the poem about a maid given straw sandals for winter by her haughty mistress that sends a timeless message about the human condition

Shoes were symbolic in ancient China. Men’s boots from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Photo: Getty Images Shoes were symbolic in ancient China. Men’s boots from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Photo: Getty Images
Shoes were symbolic in ancient China. Men’s boots from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Photo: Getty Images
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Wee Kek Koon

Wee Kek Koon

Having lived his whole life in the modern cities of Singapore and Hong Kong, Wee Kek Koon has an inexplicable fascination with the past. He is constantly amazed by how much he can mine from China's history for his weekly column in Post Magazine, which he has written since 2005.