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Monday
Dec072009

Ambidextrous in India....

This is going to be a difficult post to word politely, but I shall do my best.

There is a very strong Indian cultural heritage regarding the usage of the left and right hands. Any handshake, or greeting, should always be made with the right hand. It you acccept change, or goods, you should always do so with the right hand. You should eat with the right hand. To all intents and purposes, you should try and forget entirely that you have a left hand.

The traditional reason for this is that just about the only acceptable use for the left hand is 'to clean oneself after one has been to the toilet'. It is likely, in years gone by, that this process may not have involved the use of paper. Thus, the perfectly logical taboo on the use of the left hand in terms of social intercourse. It takes a while to get used to it, but it is appreciated if you try to remember.

I am a right handed Englishman. Just about the only thing that I do left handedly is operate a computer mouse. In fact, forget about the 'just about', it IS the only thing I do left handed. This therefore means, if you reflect, that I actually use my right hand to........ok, I think you have probably taken my point.

I have decided that an emphasis on careful strategic handwashing is probably easier than trying to explain!