On August 13 Left-Handers everywhere can rejoice because it is International Left-Handers Day! In a world that is built mostly for Right-Handed people, this is a day to celebrate the 10% of the world's population that relies on their left hand to do most tasks. It is also an important day, as it raises awareness about the struggles of left-handed people, and encourages businesses to adapt everyday objects and make them left-handed friendly and affordable.
It was in August of 1976, on a Friday the 13th, that Left-Handers International first declared August 13 as a day when left-handers were to be celebrated.
But International Left-Handers Day really only took off in 1992 in the United Kingdom, organized by the Left-Handers Club. The day was so popular across America and Canada that the date was added to the national calendar as an unofficial holiday. The aim of this day is to make the public aware of the disadvantages that left-handed people face daily.
Left-Handers Through History
Today, most of the struggles that left-handed people struggle with in their everyday life have to do with ergonomic issues, such as desks that are made only for right-handed people or objects such as scissors, measuring tapes, spiral notebooks, can openers, among many others, that are very difficult for left-handers to use. On top of that, products that are made for left-handed people are much more expensive than those available for everyone. In short, everyday objects and commodities were not made for left-handed people.
However, for many years, left-handed people were severely discriminated against and demonized. In the middle ages, left-handed people were accused of witchcraft, and for centuries, up until very recent years, being left-handed was associated with the devil, and children were punished in schools for using their left hand to write, and "retrained" to use their right hands.
Facts About Left-Handers
- 10% of the entire world population is left-handed, and while that may not seem like a lot, it means that 760 million people around the globe are lefties. Also, a person is much more likely to be a lefty if one of their parents is too.
- It is thought that left-handed people are more flexible and adaptable, as they are often challenged in a world that is made for right-handed people. The left hand is also controlled by the right side of the brain, the one associated with emotion and creative qualities such as music and art.
- Many respected and famous people are left-handed. American Presidents Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton are part of the club, and so too are famous musicians Céline Dion and Jimi Hendrix, who was one of the biggest rock stars in the world, renowned for playing a right-handed guitar with his left hand.
Things to do on Left-Handers Day
If you're a lefty, a good thing to try on this day is challenging your right-handed friends to live left-handed for 24h so they can be aware of the struggles you face in your daily life.
The best way to raise awareness to this day is to share information about it on social media, write about what it is like being a lefty in your own words, and share it with the world!
You can also write to stationery, tech, and music companies and ask them to make left-handed friendly products available at an affordable price.