Unfortunately I was blessed with the joy of being left handed. Scissors are a nightmare, tin openers are a big no no (I have a huge scar on my finger to prove it!) and my hand writing looks like a spider has stepped in ink and crawled over the page…and the smudges don’t help! I was recently researching a possible travel destination and I read something that made me think what it’s like to travel as a left hander.
I don’t want to upset any culture by doing something considered rude, but in some places around the world, the left hand is meant as a toilet hand. At meal times it should be kept hidden below the table as it’s ‘dirty’ and only the right hand should be used to eat with. Now I’m not sure about the other lefty’s out there, but I’m the first one to admit that I am HOPELESS at doing pretty much anything with my right hand, if I attempted eating with it, there’d be more food in my lap than in my mouth!
This set off an awful flashback back to my childhood. I live in England, England is old. For example, my town was once upon a time on a Roman road. We have a local museum all about life here back in the Victorian era. Pretty much every Primary school child from round here has, at least once in their life, had to don Victorian clothing, have their packed lunch wrapped up in paper and carried it to the museum in a wooden basket for a Victorian styled lesson in their mock up classroom.
In the Victorian times, people were often punished for being left handed. Schools tried to ‘iron it out’ to make everyone the same, the right hand was the dominant hand. We were all given chalk boards and chalk and had to copy sentences down from off a blackboard. I was forced to use my right hand and was then mocked for being slow and having untidy writing. As all the righty’s finished (a lot quicker than me as I could barely hold the chalk in my ‘wrong hand’), they were told to stand up at the front of the class and showcase their lovely neat usual hand writing and I was left sitting down along with only a few others. As you can imagine, this treatment as a young kid was HORRIBLE!!! No one wants to be made out as being stupid or wrong or different.
Part of the fun of travelling is doing things the local way and of course if culture says ‘use your right hand’ I’ll give it a shot! I just hope out of habit I don’t end up insulting anyone by automatically using my left!