High Five - Left Hand, Please!

What day is it today? Most of us will probably automatically say “It’s Friday the 13th!” Indeed, today is the only Friday the 13th of 2010. If that wasn’t special enough, today is also International Left Hander’s Day (or Lefthanders day, depending on your source).

This holiday was first celebrated in August 13, 1976, due to the initiative of a group called Lefthanders International. The aim, obviously, is to further the cause of left-handers, who can be considered as minorities in this predominantly right-handed world.

Not convinced that left-handers are the minority? Consider these things:

  • Name 10 friends. How many of them are left-handed?
  • Go to a computer store.  Do you see a lot of mouses (or mice, if you prefer) made for lefties?
  • Pick up a pair of scissors, and try using your left hand to work it.  Get my point?

Left-handed people are also called “southpaws,” something that boxing fans will know.  Here are some famous southpaws:

  • Manny Pacquiao – Filipino boxer.  He is the only fighter to win nine world titles in seven different weight divisions.  Definitely the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world today. (Yes, I am biased.)
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Bob Dylan – perhaps one of the best musicians ever.
  • Steve McQueen – all he needed was a fast machine!
  • Osama bin Laden
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Barack Obama

A lot of studies have been done about left-handedness, and some suggest that left-handers are more creative than right-handers.  On the downside, left-handers are supposed to be more forgetful.

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Other pieces of information about lefties:

  • Sinistrophobia is the technical term for the fear of left-handedness and everything related to the left side.  The term could have been derived from the ancient Roman word “sinister,” which meant “left.”
  • The Incas believed that left-handed people were blessed with good luck.
  • Native Americans would strap the left hand of babies down in order to prevent left-handedness.
  • Being left-handed used to be grounds for divorce in Japan. (Thank goodness this isn’t the case anymore!)

So what are you – left-handed or right-handed?  In any case, give your left-handed friends a special pat on the back today, will you?

Photo credit: Jeff the Trojan

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