“Life without left-handed people wouldn’t be right.” Happy International Left-Handers Day!


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From scissors and smudged ink to spiral-bound notebooks and impossible-to-use tin openers, the lefties’ life struggle is real. The unspoken minority, those who are left-handed have felt this from primary school right through to becoming a home chef.

Although one benefit of the Covid-19 pandemic is that being ushered in an increasingly digital world brought advantages to both the left and right, International Left-Handers Day continues to be observed every year in recognition of our left-handed friends and famous faces. 

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To mark International Left-Handers Day, we’ve put together some lovely left-leaning facts for you to enjoy.

So take a moment to pause and appreciate the plight of your cack-handed friends living in a right-handed world, or if you’re a left-hander then celebrate the day – it’s for you.

International Left-Handers Day is observed annually on August 13, in celebration of the uniqueness and differences of our fellow lefties. 

HISTORY:

Dean R Campbell, founder of the Left-Handers International Inc, first observed the day in 1976, to help raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed. 

Annual observances continued after the first recognition by Campbell and the day was later declared an official celebration by the Left-Hander’s Day Club on August 13, 1997. 

Now celebrating it’s 30th official year, many left-handers head to social media on August 13, to share the challenges and inconveniences they face in a predominantly right-hand world. 

On Twitter, left-handed people can share posts by using the #lefthandersday hashtag. You can also head to the Left-Handers Day official website to nab some left-handed themed graphics for your socials.

While some lefties create a ‘left-handed zone’ to raise awareness and for fun. Anyone who enters this designated leftie area, including right-handers, must be do everything in a left-handed fashion – from their work set-up to using cutlery. 

LEFT HANDED STRUGGLES:

While using right-handed scissors, writing in spiral notebooks and playing musical instruments are seen as modern-day struggles, left-handers have also been subject to less favourable treatment in the past. 

Left-handedness was viewed negatively by previous generations, dating back to the Middle Ages, when lefties were thought to be possessed by the Devil. 

In later years, some left-handed children were compelled by their parents and school teachers to use their right hand for writing tasks. Who remembers handwriting assessments in primary school?

Research also shows that left-handed people could be more likely to experience certain conditions too. For example, a study by Yale in 2013 found that 40 per cent of those with schizophrenia are left-handed, while 11 per cent of those diagnosed with mood disorders such as depression are left-handed. 

According to a Journal of economic perspectives study, left-handed people are more likely to work in manually intensive fields and most notably, earn 10-12 per cent less than those who use their right hand. 

FACTS ABOUT FANTABULOUS LEFT:

Just 10 percent of the world’s population is left-handed and this has remained roughly the case for thousands of years. Men are also more likely to be left-handed

Historically left-handed people were considered inferior, with the use of the left hand being associated with witchcraft.

Left-hand shakes are a sign of disrespect. This derives from the Middle Ages where people used to use their left hand to wipe after going to the toilet.

The word sinister comes from the Latin word “sinister” originally meant “left” but took on meanings of “evil” or “unlucky.”

Christianity traditionally associated the left with evil through its description of the Last Judgement where the damned (“goats”) are sent to the left, and the saved (“sheep”) to the right.

A left-handed compliment is a criticism couched as a compliment; otherwise known as a backhanded compliment, such as “you are very competent for someone so inexperienced.”

The term “left-wing” dates from the 1790s when in the French revolutionary parliament the socialist representatives sat to the presiding officer’s left. Leftists at this time were considered hostile to the interests of traditional elites

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