In the part of the world where I come from, using your left hand to receive or give something to someone (especially an elder) is more or less seen as a taboo. Two things they say: you're not respectful and your mother didn't train you well. They cast aspersions on the left hand and ascribe negativism to everything that has to do with the left. Have you heard this saying "you woke up from the left side of the bed"? This is not very far away from the myth that asserts my original stance. So waking from the left side means you're automatically going to have a bad day. Have you also heard the myth that insinuates that giving a toast with your left hand is the same as placing a curse on the person you're saluting?
Oh well, my mum said I had the tendency of using my left hand since I was an infant. She watched how I consistently used the hand with so much vigour and power. She was convinced that she had given birth to an "Onye aka ikpa" and there was really nothing she could do about it. While I learnt to eat, I fiddled with the spoon with my left hand and when I tried to put my hands to use, my left hand was king. Okay, she now decided to make it more uniform by practically forcing me to use my left hand to write. There's a myth that insinuates that left handed people are usually intelligent because their brain is located on the left part of the head. Funny isn't it?😂😂😂 But I was unable to use it to write. As little as I was, I was highly opinionated. I already decided what I wanted for myself at infancy... Lol. I know a couple of lefties though and I can confidently beat my small chest and say that they are quite special. There's absolutely nothing wrong with them.
I've had many sour experiences when I used my left hand in public. Even people who had no business with my life had at one point or another come up with one flimsy point or another in defense of the right hand.😳 I've had an experience with a Uniport shuttle conductor. This was a small boy that my younger sister should be older than. I was going to give him his money but Dude is giving me this "use your right hand look". Well, that isn't going to be possible. Wait, you wanna forfeit your money? I asked. Your oga go sack you o. Dude had to reluctantly take his money. Then again I'm home. My dad would always let me eat with my left hand but when I eat with him on the same plate, he insists that I use my right hand. It's his food afterall. My mum wouldn't let that happen! She immediately quotes the relevant sections of the Igbo constitution to prove the degree of taboo I just committed. She shouts and shouts and despite the tactic I employ in convincing her, she still isn't convinced. She still wonders why an "adult" especially her daughter still finds it cool to eat with her left hand. But I still wonder why she lets me do the house chores with my left hand. What's the difference really?
And then, I'm in Kano state where it doesn't matter whether I'm a leftie or rightie. Like most times, I feel like I'm in America already. Though I use my left hand here, I'm not perceived as an ill trained or a disrespectful lady. Initially, I used to be scared to use the left hand not until I discovered it wasn't an issue here. I still prefer a world where individual differences are respected admidst cultural norms and practice. For heaven's sake, if there were no deviants, the world would be a boring place.
Well, I'm a leftie and I belong to the 11% minority that exists in a right-handed world. We would be fine. We surely would.
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