Left Handers Are Fighting For Their Rights in China

Left Handers Are Fighting For Their Rights in China

It's pretty well know that Asians have been forcing their left handed children to be right handed for quite some time. The bias against left-handed people dates back to thousands of years, cutting across cultures all around the world. For instance, lefties in the Middle Ages were accused of practicing witchcraft, which then bore an infamous reputation.

Per The National, like several relatives before them, Li Ke and his son are left-handed. But four-year old Tu Tu will be the first in his family to write with the hand he prefers.

That is because 35-year-old Mr Li is resisting pressure from his parents to "correct" his son's "abnormal" tendency.

"During my childhood I was severely criticised for being left-handed," Mr Li, a Beijing-based web editor told The National. "I want my son to be free."

China is estimated to have 140 million left-handed citizens, based on the global occurrence rate of about one in 10.

But in reality, their numbers are much smaller because of huge social pressure to conform as right-handed.

left handed ping pong player

One piece of research based on official statistics going back to the 1980s found only one per cent of Chinese school children wrote with their left hand. State media often says the country has 80 million left-handed citizens – though they do not say how they define left-handed or how they arrived at the figure.

It has led to a bizarre divide that places teachers in the middle of child and parent.

On International Left-handers Day on Monday the Chinese media was filled with articles trying to educate people.

Left-handers are normal, they said. Forcing a left-handed child to use the right hand can lead to emotional and developmental issues, they warned. And there is no evidence that lefties have a higher IQ, they added – countering a common myth that lefties are somehow smarter.


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