HAPPY LEFT-HANDERS DAY EVERYONE!!!
Yes, today is OUR DAY! August 13th is international Left-Handers Day
All of you know what it feels like to be a left-hander – or ambidextrous. Only WE know, what kind of problems we face every day – and we all somehow learned to work around those.
Right-handers will never fully understand what this means, as they never experience that.
Being a Lefty is something we were (and in some countries still are) treated bad. In school chiidren were beaten or forced to use the „right“ hand.
Words which describe evil or bad things are pulled together with everything left – here some examples.
 We would like to know if you could come up with some typical left-associated words, which describe bad things!
You want to know more about being a Lefty, about Left-Handers Day and what it means to be so special?
Do you want to celebrate Lefties-Day with a special drawing/poetry or anything else? Yes? Than make some artwork and SUBMIT IT INTO THE FEATURED FOLDER – WE WILL ACCEPT THOSE SPECIAL ENTRIES FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK, SO UNTIL 20th August!
(The artwork needs to have something to do with Left-Handers Day or being lefty please to be accepted.)
 Submit your special artwork for Left-Handers Day for only one week (until 20th August) into our featured-folder – we will accept it only this week!
ENJOY LEFT-HANDERS DAY! MAKE OTHERS AWARE OF IT! CELEBRATE!
And at the end, we also would like to present an interview with Marina Neumann
(translated from German into English) about what it means to be a Lefty today. ENJOY!
 The interview
Interview by Florian Bayer | Der Standard To what extent do Left-Handers differ from Right-Handers?Left-Handers INSTINCTLY use their left hand for all practical activities and would also draw and write with the left hand if they are left to.
But also their brain works different: With lefties the right side of the brain is dominant and more active. This is the domicile of creativity and intuitive abilities.
That is why a lefty acts different in problem solving.
With right-handers the left side of the brain is more dominant – this means there way of problem-solving is more structured and logical.
This does not mean that right-handers are not creative, but you can totally see a difference between left-handers and right-handers. You are writing that many Left-handers are still forced at school to write with the right hand. Why is this a problem? If a lefty is not allowed to use his/her strong hand nor his/her strong brain side it means, he/she needs to use the weak side.
This is like an emergency situation compareable to a patient who had an apoplectic stroke with a paralysis on his stronger side and has to use his weak side.
The other side of the brain goes in some sort of „sleep“, like stand-by and you get problems with fine motor manipulations – especially with writing.
If you force children to use their not dominant hand you are influencing biology.Why were Lefties forced to use the right hand for so long?This has religious, historical and philosophical backgrounds. They were discriminated from the very beginning, which you can see in figur of speech like:
„Sit on the right side of god“, „the left hand is the hand of the devil“, „the right way“ and many other.
All those sayings are well known and imply that there is a valuable difference between Right- and Left-Handers.
This not only is true for Christianity but also for Islam and Hinduism, where the left hand is the hand you use when going to toilet, you never greet someone with the left or do not eat with this hand.How is it possible that this tradition still exists?This evolution has continued until the 20th century. I myself was forced to use the right hand in school.
On my very first day I wanted to write with left, but my teacher told me: „No, we are only using the right hand for writing here.“
Until today this problem is not really aware in sociaty, even in universities they believe that everybody is Right-Hander.Do you have the feeling that today the awereness for being left-handed is rising?Yes it has become better. For example since 1990 it is legaly fixed in Germany that a teacher is not allowed to force a student to write with the right hand.
That is a big progress! But on the other hand the children are really left alone. There is no help for them, nobody shows them how to write relaxed and flowing or how you should sit while writing with the left hand.
For example in Kindergartens they often DO have left-hander scissors nowadays, but nobody shows the kids how to use them.
In education for becoming a teacher or child care worker Left-Handedness is a topic nearly not covered at all.How and when can parents identify which is the dominant hand of their children?When a child is able to grasp goal-oriented – around the 10th/11th month – you can take a closer look if a child is using one hand more dominant than the other.
It is really obvious with twins: Very often one of them is a Lefty! You can see that instantly if one of them is holding the teddy or the baby bottle in the one and the other in the other hand.
But most parents do not really realize that.How do you recognize it?You just have to take a closer look. Someone who is trained does recognize it really fast.
If you are parent or a child care worker it is a good thing if you place toys in front of a child, so the child has to decide him/herself which hand to use and they can grasp it freely with every hand.
If you take a closer look right than, you often can find out, what is the dominant hand. Sadly most children do not even get this chance, because for example the spoon is placed automatically on the right side and you learn to eat with the right.You have written a book where you describe how adults, who were forced to be right-handers, can learn to use the left again. For whome is this interesting – shouldn’t you stay with the handedness you have learned?Many adults who were forced to be right-handers do suffer this re-education. There come people to me who know, that they were lefties, others who are not really sure about because they cannot remember.
They often have problems with fine motor manipulations or in the psychological area. They can find out in a Left-Handers test, which one is the right for them – they have to draw very easy figures for example.How does it feel to be re-educated to be a Lefty?For a Lefty, drawing with the left feels a thousand times different than drawing with the right. Exact the same for writing – I know that from my own experience.
It is also some kind of relaxation: Finally I can be myself! It also has something to do with the own personality, which hand you use. Right in the moment when you realize how different it feels to use YOUR „right“ hand (which is the left in most cases) it is very motivating. Some people also need some time to assimilate the outcome „Left-Hander“. How do you become a Left-Hander again?First you learn to write with your left hand again. It is also important to learn how to be a lefty in everyday-life and at work. Out of my experience it is not too late to become lefty again until you are 60 years old: The left hand can always be re-trained.
But it for sure needs some time. You start with very easy signs at first and draw them for a long time. This is to train the fine motor manipulations. You just need to train regularly, and than you will realize how adaptive you are even as an adult.How long does it take, this process?For writing it needs around a year. After 1 1/2 year I signed first time with my left. You do never forget that! But it is individual, how fast you learn, really. Today it is more easy in everday-situations because of the computer, it is more easy to come through the day because you can write with the computer. Are there people who are using both hands equally?Especially in manual work areas people often switch their hands, which is totally an advantage. But even most of them have a favored side.
There are many who say they are ambidextrous, but they often write with the right – which often is a sign for a oppressed left-hander.Are there still many problems for Left-Handers in everyday life?There has been a big progress, many things are also available for lefties. But most things you only find in the internet.
There are still many jobs where being a lefty is a problem. I know a train-driver who was lefty who was desperate because all gear levers were on the right side. It was so hard for him to work that he had to skip.
The thing with gear levers you also have in cars. Well, there are automatic cars, but Left-Handers really have a better life in England or India.
Marina Neumann is psychologist and psychotherapist in Berlin. She was born 1952 and in the age of 6 she was forced to use the right hand. Only in the year 2000 she began to write with the left hand again. In her practice she focuses on left-handed children, teenagers and adults who were forced to use the right hand just like her.
- The LeftHandedArtists