Men kan is
for ‘threshold’ or
‘door sill’, which in
traditional buildings in East Asia and Southeast Asia, such as palaces,
temples and traditional homes is typically high or raised.
There are many different reason given for this, depending on region and the
person who one asks, including:
an architectural necessity; to hold back rising flood waters; too keep out
to keep out the spirits of the
deceased, since they can't step over the high thresholds due to
their stiff legs;
to demand respect, i.e. that when stepping over it one has to look
order to see where to step and thus automatically bows by lowering
the head in respect of the
person whose place one enters;
that it is the dwelling place of the guardian spirit; and so on...