“Happy Leftie Day!!”
Those were the words my sister posted on my facebook page on August 13th, 2013 – the date which has been deemed as Left-Handers Day internationally.
And my nephew, who is also left-handed, wrote “We lefties are amazing.”
And that we are!!!
Only 10% of the population are lefties!
Growing up in Canada and being left-handed or turning your paper sideways to write, although maybe not the norm, was nothing to blink an eye at or comment about. Surely, it was nothing to deem unusual, and certainly it wasn’t strange.
But all of that changed when I set foot in Taiwan. Filling out application forms, signing my signature, giving my people my e-mail or phone number, or any other simple writing task became a 10 minute conversation (at least).
Most Taiwanese children who are left-handed are usually encouraged (sometimes forced) to write with their right hand from an early age. Once I asked why and I was told it was better to be right-handed when writing Chinese because it is easier to write and remember the character stroke order.
So, you can imagine the amount of unwanted attention and confused comments I received when I informed them that my dad is left-handed as well and I once heard that left-handers are very artistic, smart people. The list of powerful, left-handed people is quite substantial.
But, I think the most confusion surrounds my writing angle. Most people position their paper straight (vertically); however, I turn my paper and write sideways and write horizontally. I have always done it. It is my own style and technique. It is part of me and I never plan on changing it.
Then, they are amazed that I have such beautiful, neat penmanship. Apparently, most left-handers write ‘very messy’ which makes it hard to read and articulate.
Personally, I do not like the attention but people have the right to their opinion. I am noticed a lot here because I am a foreigner. I am constantly stared at, pointed at, my presence acknowledge with a constant wave of ‘Hellos.’ And writing this way raises ‘being different and standing out’ to a whole new level.
But honestly, it is OK! I have had the opportunity to practice speaking Chinese on countless occasions because of being left-handed and believe it or not, one of the conversations about being left-handed actually turned into a great tutoring job!
Now…over to you!! What is your opinion? Would you comment on someone being left-handed?