25th January 2007, 06:08 PM
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Join Date: 25th October 2006
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| | Originally Posted by Greg the byzantine
I agree with this. It isn't a catholic thing, it's a general thing. Traditionally in many cultures all over the world, the right hand and the right side are seen as the "good" side, left as the "bad" side and hand. And a lot of that attitude probably has to do with what's normal and what's not - normal is often seen as "good". Only 10-15% of the people are lefthanded.
This is not just a Catholic thing. This was something going on the world over not too long ago. My grandfather and great-grandfather who went to school in Cyprus were both forced to write with their right hand even though they were left-handed. Traditionally the left hand in many cultures was seen as something associated with evil or bad. It was less common to be left-handed so it was seen as a sort of deviation, then add to the the mix the fact that at the Last Judgment it is thought that the righteous will be placed at Jesus's right while the damned will be placed at his left hand. Also the Latin word for left is sinister. So there are lots and lots of things thrown into the mix.
My lefthanded mum was taught to write with her right hand, by nuns at a catholic school in the early 1950's. I am lefthanded too, but I learned to write with my left hand. I have an awful writing technique, a beautiful handwriting but it's bad for my left hand because I keep my wrist at a weird angle as to not smudge my writing. I have developed ganglions (cysts) at my wrist because of this, and they are painful. I partly blame my teacher because in those days (1980's) there wasn't that much attention for lefthanded writing, at least not at my school. They never taught me to turn the paper instead of the hand, so that you don't have to ruin your wrist. (Nowadays I think most teachers will take lefthandedness into account when teaching kids how to hold their pens.)
Maybe forcing lefthanded kids to write with their right hand is not such a bad idea after all - wrist problems can be avoided that way.
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