When I was in grade school, I remember a weird ritual that my classmates did; every time a kid has new shoes they would stomp on it (dirtying the poor shoes in the process) and would declare the shoes have already been “baptized.”
I was probably stomped a few times, but I can’t remember if I ever did a stomping; not that I’m defending myself, it’s just easier to remember an experience if you’re the victim as opposed to when you’re the aggressor.
That weird (and cruel) ritual is not unique to our school. One would wonder when, where, who started that ritual.
My guess is that it was started by a kid who’s jealous of his new classmates new shoes, and he thought of a clever way to make himself feel better; that is, by associating baptism (a sacred ritual in most religions) to that rude act.
That’s only a speculation, but would you think a kid who’s proud of his classmate or friend’s new shoes would even consider stomping it?
Still being practiced
Unfortunately, the practice didn’t stopped. (Habits we learn in school lives long.) Although there are probably worse rituals in other schools around the world.
The practice has to stop once a kid gets older, of course, or he would get himself into trouble by getting himself sued or risk retaliation from the person with the stomped shoes.
Most people will dismiss it as something minor or even a “part of growing up.” I’m not sure about that. Who knows if the kid who stomps the new shoes will someday be the person who scratches the new car of his colleague. Oh no.
The good news
Most of the shoe stompers classmates I knew grew up normally and have happy lives. People change.
I just hope they don’t pass that stupid ritual (shoe stomping) to their kids. The only one benefiting from it are the companies who make shoe cleaning products. Wait… maybe those companies started that ritual? Oh boy, I’m speculating too much.