“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?
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.
- Is there an empirical study showing the benefits of using the left hand in the bathroom?
- 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?
- Isn’t the advent of soap supposed to eliminate the danger of wiping as a problem?
- The ring finger is on the left hand. So should we change that to the right?
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?
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.
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?
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!