Today, August 13, is International Left-Handers Day, and is marked with special events around the world. The day was first celebrated on August 13, 1976.
The Left Handers Club sees the day as a way to raise awareness of the issues faced by left-handed people as well as having fun.
This organization's website says “year round, we fit in with home and office layouts designed for right-handers’ comfort – put up with doors, cookers, sinks, computer mice, keyboards and desks that are efficient for right-handers to work at, and hundreds of times every 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…
But NOT TODAY! Because on this special day, it is your chance to GET YOUR OWN BACK on your right-handed friends colleagues and family, by designating your personal space as a LEFTY ZONE where everything must be done left-handed!”
The club estimates that at least 13 percent of the world’s population is left-handed, although many people who might have naturally been left-handed have forced themselves to switch hands due to cultural or educational pressure. In some Muslim countries to left hand is used to handle things which are considered dirty.
Andrea Hayek-Schwarz, an Austrian teacher, has developed a programme to help left-handed people who had been using their right hand for most things go back to their natural state. According to a story in The Telegraph, she has used her program on her three daughters and now treats about 20 adults and 30 children every year. The process can take six months to two years.
Hayek-Schwarz said that people forcing themselves to use the wrong hand can suffer concentration, memory and learning problems.
Famous left-handers include Mahatma Gandhi, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Bill Gates, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Some people believe that, if trained from a young age, people can perform tasks with either hand.