International Left-handers Day

Just a celebration for us lefties!

Yes – something for me to personally celebrate and indeed for my family – out of 5 of us only 1 is right-handed and that seems to go against the natural order of things. No one can truly define how left-handedness occurs in individuals – but there are many theories.

May years ago, I happened upon the left-handed shop in Soho, London – a great shop with can openers, scissors, golf clubs and all (it felt so right!) – even selling the particularly unique left-handed mug. It was great but somehow the shop seemed doomed to fail – excluding 90% of the population may have rather reduced their pool of customers. But it did highlight the right-handed dominance of products and society’s norms in general. And, as for ordering a left-handed chequebook from your bank, it takes supreme effort and remarkable patience.

Interestingly, there is no right-hander day in the calendar. This Day just highlights the frustrations of having to find ways of using items designed for right-handers.

The first International Left-handers Day was observed in 1976 as an initiative by Dean Campbell, the founder of Left-handers International, Inc.

Some interesting facts about left-handers:

  • Left-handers are more likely to become alcoholics since the brain’s right side has a lower tolerance to alcohol.
  • In the olden days, witches used the left hand to cast spells and curse others by just touching them with this hand.
  • Studies have shown that most lefties have a higher IQ than righties.
  • Most lefties are great at divergent thinking and are drawn to art and musical careers.
  • Scientifically, left-handedness is more likely to happen to males, identical twins, and neurologically disordered individuals.

(Well – some encouraging stuff there then for me then!)

The organisers of International Left-handers Day suggest that to celebrate the Day, we should invite our right-handed friends and try to use a simple item like a tin opener with their left hand. Alternatively, I could let people try cutting paper with my left-handed scissors. That might just highlight what a pain it can be!

So, celebrate if you’re left-handed and commiserate if you’re not. Left-handed is a state of being!