Marked by people and organizations on a global scale, International Lefthanders Day observed on August 13 celebrates the uniqueness of left-handed people. Left-handed people face several obvious disadvantages in a world which has a majority of right-handed people. On this day, the world celebrates and applauds their capacity to overcome the inconveniences due to being left handed.
On the contrary, several studies have shown that left-handed people are more creative, earn more money and have extremely high IQs, apart from performing well in sports. Aside from highlighting these aspects, the problems faced by children who are left-handed are also discussed on Lefthanders day.
The historical perspective
This day dedicated to lefties worldwide has been in existence since 1976, but was officially declared to be the Lefthanders Day by the Lefthanders Club in 1992. The day is celebrated in order to create awareness about the difficulties and frustrations left-handed people face, living in a right-handed world, where most objects are designed to suit righties. According to Scientific American, 10% of world population is left-handed. This makes their number miniscule, contributing to the fact why society does not focus on their needs. Even though they may be small in number, they seem to comprise 20% of top scorers in SATs, and a whopping 31% of baseball pitchers for the Major League are lefties. Albert Einstein, Da Vinci, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Jimi Hendrix are some outstanding left-handers. The high imaginative powers, athletic prowess and adaptability of lefthanders are extolled on this day, apart from drawing attention to their difficulties.
International Lefthanders Day is celebrated worldwide and in the UK, more than 20 events are held every year to mark the day.
How do they celebrate it?
Different activities are planned to promote understanding about lefties. Pubs and restaurants have events which encourage all patrons to be left-handed for a day. Fun activities in which right-handed people perform everyday tasks with their left hand are organized. These activities can be in the form of sports where only the left hand is used, like lefty netball or football and cricket matches between lefties and righties. Left-handed musicians demonstrate their difficulty in using instruments designed for right-handed people. An ordinary activity like working on the computer presents a challenge to lefties because the mouse is usually set up for the convenience of right handed people. Right handed people are asked to work with the mouse on the left to understand this problem.
Special Programs held around the world or in a region
Many lefty clubs and organizations seize the opportunity to express their abilities and problems. Various events encourage manufacturers of various products to understand lefty difficulties, and develop more left-handed friendly products. Left-handed people take their friends and family to “Lefty Zones”. These “zones” dedicated to lefties have everyone doing things with their left hand, like eating with reverse cutlery, etc, so that right-handed people could experience what lefties have to go through every day of their lives.
How people prepare for it
Left-handed people come out with all kinds of activities meant to show the differences between them and right handed people. The activities can range from various fun and wacky things to those on a serious note. Any right-hander, who is interested to see how left-handed people work, is welcomed and encouraged to participate. Right-handed people are asked to perform simple everyday tasks with their left hand, such as operating the microwave (which has controls designed for righties), writing on a ring binder file, opening wine bottles, stirring food, peeling and washing vegetables and fruits, using the left hand scissors designed for righties and so on, to know how lefties deal with these situations. These events are fun yet they spread awareness about the lefty world. Most of the programmes are designed for adults and children so that right-handed children can develop empathy for their left-handed peers.