Yes, today is officially OUR day….International Left Handers’ Day….
All year round, we fit in with home and office layouts designed for right-handers’ comfort, but NOT TODAY!
It seems left and right handedness may be argued over, like the chicken and the egg……Stone Age implements discovered seem equally divided between left and right and studies of cave drawings have indicated a preference for the left hand. When tools became more sophisticated, a clear hand preference emerged. The right hand preference may have originated in sun worship.
In the Northern hemisphere you have to face south to follow the sun and move from left to right until the suns sets in the west. This gave moving to the right and the right hand side a great significance. Another theory says that as the heart is on the left hand side, a shield would have to be in the left hand to defend it and any weapon therefore had to be held in the right, which became the dominant hand. Recent theories have included one that right-handedness is the normality and left-handedness is a deficiency which results from a traumatic birth! Left-handers have done quite badly over the years and many old superstitions still survive today.
I can remember, as a child entering school, my mother being asked by the teachers if she would like my left hand tied behind my back so that I would “learn” how to be right handed…can you believe it??? Thank God my mum had the nouse to say a very firm NO!
However, even languages refer to ‘lefties’ in a not so good light……
There are a lot of sayings where “right” is good and “left” is bad e.g., “being in your right mind”, “the divine right of kings”, it will be all right in the end” as against being “left out”, having “two left-feet”, “a left-handed compliment” (one that is not really meant!).
Even the word for “left-handed” in many languages is very negative:
Language Word for Left Handed Meaning
Greek Skaios Ill-omened, awkward
Italian Mancino Crooked, maimed
Spanish Zurdo Reverse
– No Ser Zurdo = Clever
French Gauche Awkward, clumsy
Dutch Linkshandig To “have two left hands” means to be clumsy.
German Links, Linkisch Awkward
Norwegian Kjevhendt Crooked-handed
Australia Mollie Dooker Something to do with having fists like a girl
Latin SinisterDexter On the left-hand sideOn the right hand side (dextrous)
So you see….being left handed can be hard! But check out who our famous (and very creative) counterparts are….
Leonardo Da Vinci, Ruben,Bach, both Ginger Rodgers AND Fred Astaire, Pierce Brosnan, Morgan Freema, Hugh Jackman, Judy Garland, Demi Moore, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Celine Dion, Sir Paul McCartney, Mozart and Schumann….and that’s only a few! What a creative bunch we lefties are!
So why not have a go at some left handed craft for the day and see what challenges us in our craft……
- Cutting – using right-handed scissors in left hand is an excellent example of totally right-biased design that doesn’t work well.
- Ironing with board & iron reversed – adults only !
- Drawing a measured line with a ruler
- I wouldn’t recommend using the rotary cutter though….a little bit dangerous, don’t you think?
- Having the computer mouse on the left of the keyboard and try drawing a shape on screen, or clicking and dragging – we usually have to do this with our right hand as the mouse is shared, and always set up for right-handed users
- Use the computer keypad to enter lots of numbers – using wrong hand
- Draw or write in ring binder / spiral bound notepad with left hand – binding hurts wrist
- Using fountain/ink pen or just felts and colour in with left hand – smudged work and ink on side of hand as it follows the work
Not easy huh? I’d love to know of any crafty left-handed quilters out there and how you cope with your craft in a right handed world.
Hope you have a very happy Left Hander’s Day!
(Take part in the quizzes and games on www.lefthandersday.com and find out what makes us lefties so special! All images and information was used from there so credit is duly given)
Sugary hugs xox :o)