— -- Even when you're the leader of the free world, sometimes you have to ditch your shoes.
Today in New Delhi, President Obama spent some time in his socks during a visit to a memorial for Mahatma Gandhi, the father of modern India. It wasn't the first time Obama has gone shoeless while on foreign soil; he's done so a handful of times on overseas trips since taking office in 2009.
1. At the Blue Mosque in Istanbul
When Obama visited Turkey to address its parliament in April 2009 - a speech in which he declared that the U.S. "is not, and will never be, at war with Islam" - he also visited Istanbul's historic Blue Mosque, built between 1609 and 1616, removing his shoes to tour it.
2. At a Museum in Egypt
One of President Obama's first and still most notable foreign trips was his June 2009 visit to Egypt, where he delivered a speech in Cairo aimed at the Muslim world, seeking to repair relations. On that trip, he visited the pyramids and the Great Sphinx, removing his shoes to tour a museum at the site.
After hosting South Korea's president at the White House in June 2009, President Obama traveled to South Korea for a state visit that November. He removed his shoes before a luncheon with Lee at South Korea's presidential residence, the Blue House.
4. At a Mosque in Indonesia
Again reaching out to the Muslim world in a speech overseas, Obama traveled to Jakarta in November 2010 to speak at the University of Indonesia, returning to the country where he spent part of his childhood. Along with the first lady, he visited the Istiqlal Mosque, which lays its claim as the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. The first couple removed their shoes for the tour.
5. At a Pagoda in Burma
In November 2012, Obama made a historic visit to Burma, once ruled by a military junta and now, as it was in 2012, in the midst of a Democratic transition supported by the White House. On his visit, Obama sought to bolster that transition and encourage Burma's political changes. While in Rangoon, Obama toured the Shwedagon Pagoda, a large, golden Buddhist shrine - and, once again, removing his footwear.