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Sacred Simplicity
A young Japanese couple perform the traditional marriage ceremony in a temple, ca. 1946-56
© Horace Bristol/CORBIS

Recommended by Cirriculum Services Canada

Wedding Shoe Stories

Classroom Activities & Projects

About the Exhibition:
Around the world, the joining of couples through marriage is celebrated with time-honoured traditions and elaborate rituals. Footwear features prominently in the celebrations, either as part of the wedding costume, or in customs connected to the nuptials. The footwear and related traditions of nineteen countries are featured in The Perfect Pair: Wedding Shoe Stories. Japanese zori, Indian paduka and Moravian accordion-pleated boots are just a few of the shoes that illustrate how many of these wedding rituals are performed to ensure that newlyweds step into the future on a sure footing.

About the Activities:
While teachers will find ways to use this exhibition at many different grade levels, it is particularly applicable to the primary grades, where students are learning about their own communities, and the lives of families in other communities around the world.

The following activities are suitable for primary level Social Studies, where students explore the similarities and differences in traditions and celebrations of people around the world by using a variety of resources and tools to gather, process and communicate information.

The activities introduce the concept of wedding traditions and wedding shoes as students explore their own family or cultural customs. Students then learn about specific wedding shoes and wedding customs from around the world, allowing for discussion of similarities and differences.

The activities may be used individually, or may form an entire unit, as preferred. There are opportunities for students to apply their learning for each activity.

Additional Resources:
An annotated bibliography is provided with age-appropriate children’s books such as the Cinderella variants, as well as other shoe stories from around the world.
Click here for Bibliography

A glossary with the phonetic pronunciation of some of the proper names and terminology is also provided.
Click here for Glossary