No, it's not a major milestone. But, as it turns out, the members of The Left-Handers Club think that all lefties should celebrate their right to favor their left hand on August 13. That's the day dubbed as "International Left-Handers' Day."
The day for lefties
The brief history of the global lefty appreciation day is posted on the club's website: "On [the] 13th [of] August 1992 the Club launched International Left-Handers Day, an annual event when left-handers everywhere can celebrate their sinistrality and increase public awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed. This event is now celebrated worldwide." Still, a Telegraph article reveals that "only around 13 percent of the world's population is left-handed."
Feeling left out
That said, we're asking why, to this day, people are still surprised when they encounter anyone who is left-handed. In the Philippines, the stereotype is that lefties have bad handwriting. In some Philippine schools, it's still not usual to have some left-handed writing desks. In fact, The Left-Handers Club write-up points out lefties' woes: "We fit in with home and office layouts designed for right-handers’ comfort – put up with doors, cookers, sinks, computer mouse , keyboards, and desks that are efficient for right-handers to work at. Hundreds of times [each] day we contort ourselves using back-to-front tools and gadgets that make us look clumsy and awkward in our efforts to make them to work."
Lefties had it worse in the old days. An article on the website Anything Left Handed reveals: "[Back then], they thought that evil spirits lurk over the left shoulder – so people were told to throw salt over this shoulder to ward them off. In Roman times, salt was a very valuable commodity, giving rise to the word “salary” and was considered a form of money at the time. If salt was spilled, that was considered very bad luck, that could only be avoided by throwing some of the spilled salt over your left shoulder to placate the devil."
For some time, kids who were supposedly left-handed got their hands whacked with a ruler each time they attempted to write with their left hands. Who knows how many lefties got forcibly converted to go right through the harsh practice.
The right to go left
These days, left-handedness is pretty much accepted and lefties have every right to use the hand that makes them who they are.
Left-handed Pinoys can also take comfort in the fact that in 2010, according to a GMA News Online report, Senator Lito Lapid refiled Senate Bill No. 31 or the “Comprehensive Handedness Act of 2010" to call for “educational programs that (are) responsive to the handedness preference of students." In the bill's explanatory note, Lapid said, “Everyday, left-handed people struggle in a right-handed world… The problem is that the majority of people are right-handed and various products and tools are often made for right-handed individuals." However, we don't know if that bill will ever be passed into law. In any case, as long as lefties don't get branded as evil or whacked with a ruler, they will thrive in a world that (unfortunately) favors right-handed folks.
Yahoo! Philippines SHE Asks lefties: Do you like being left-handed? (Tell us if you've encountered any obstacles because of it.)
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