Don’t Use Your Left Hand

“Don’t point with your left.”

“Don’t give stuff to people with your left”

Should I stop taking left turns as well? What’s the big deal with the left hand? Did someone do something that bad that Ghana is stuck with this practice?

Introduction

On my birthday in 2014 I decided to do stand up comedy. My wife thought I was crazy. I thought it was an interesting challenge.

The material I had focused on bathroom behaviour, of which I will discuss in another post. I however want to focus on the part that dealt with the use of the left hand in the bathroom and the cultural practice that forbids us from using it to do a number of things.

I am hoping this post will shed light on the issue and get me to comprehend what the fuss is all about.

What’s The Problem With The Left Hand?

Rumor has it that this all had to do with bathroom etiquette. Apparently we don’t give things to people or point with our left hand because when we use the bathroom, we are to use our left hand in wiping our business.

Let that sink in for a minute.

I pray this is not the only reason. I have been looking for a better reason yet the same story keeps coming up.

Why Don’t I Buy Into The Left Hand Culture?

I don’t know which authority came up with this narrative but I have a couple of concerns that make it difficult to accept the practice.

  1. Is there an empirical study showing the benefits of using the left hand in the bathroom?
  2. Even if a study existed showing that there are benefits (which I doubt), who checks as to which hand people use each time they use the bathroom?
  3. Isn’t the advent of soap supposed to eliminate the danger of wiping as a problem?
  4. The ring finger is on the left hand. So should we change that to the right?
Should I use my left or right to wipe?

Should I use my left or right to wipe?

NEWS FLASH: I am not sure which hand I personally use to handle my business in the bathroom. I think I am ambidextrous in that respect. I mean even if I said I use my left would you believe me?

Even I wouldn't believe you dad

Even I wouldn’t believe you dad

Politics alone should tell you that people say one thing and do another in the polling booth. How much more when they are in the toilet.

Left Discrimination

When growing up I realized all around me that the left hand was frowned upon. People were forced to learn how to write with their right hand when they were left handed.

(And it wasn’t to make them ambidextrous)

How can such a practice be accepted?
God created a child and blessed them with the ability to do things with their left hand. Culture then bars that from being developed?

In sports left handed people are a gem. I am sure in other respects they are treasured. So why do we discriminate against treasured individuals all because of a bathroom issue?

Conclusion

I don’t agree with the left hand culture. However, I adhere to it in the company of elders. I do it for the peace and also because I believe that there is a stronger cultural reason than which I keep hearing.

Even if the reason stays the same I will respect culture and use my right amongst my elders. In such scenarios that’s not the time for such a discussion.

That’s why I am blogging about it. So help me out in understanding this Ghanaian practice.
Is it good or bad?
Keep your responses One Hondred!

6 thoughts on “Don’t Use Your Left Hand

  1. senafrost says:

    Well as a southpaw myself I have run into a few issues with older people regarding the use of my left hand. I just stick to using my right in front of people with such views. My parents however don’t mind (my dad is left handed himself). As is the case with being the minority the majority always tends to discriminate whether it is good or bad.

    Like

    • hondredpercent says:

      I agree. My issue is with the reason. I would be a bit more comfortable with a decree being passed by a great king in the past because a woman slapped him with her left hand. I will not agree with it but I will be more understanding of the reason. The current reason just doesn’t make sense. It’s even embarrassing to explain to an outsider

      Like

  2. qwamina says:

    Perfect!!! I’m a leftie myself, and although I never experienced the ‘beatings’ that come with writing with your left (I didn’t attend nursery in GH), I’ve had to deal with that, and as I grew older, it just got annoying. Like, what’s so evil about the left hand that shaking hands and eating with it is frowned upon? With what you’ve pointed out, it makes it even more ridiculous to me.

    And I dunno if you’ve heard the saying, Onyame ny3 lefty. That’s another irritant. Like really?

    Like

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