Thursday, 18 September 2014

Interesting facts of being Left-handed






The general perception is that though left-handed people are different, they are artistic, talented and stylish. Be it arts, sports, fashion, etc, they have something extra to make them score over others. Some consider being left-handed bad. Left-handed children are forced to use their right hand by over-zealous parents to make them normal. So is being left-handed good, bad or ugly?

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The general impression is white is good and black is bad, similarly, right is considered good and left is bad. And for generations cultural bearers have been encouraging the notion that left means bad and inauspicious. Earlier parents would be disturbed if their child showed signs of being left-handed. It was considered a health disorder. According to studies, between 8-15% of the population is left-handed. Though left-handedness was looked down upon and lefties were often told to use their right hand for their day-to-day work. Things have changed now. August 13 is celebrated as the International Left-handers Day across the globe.


Researchers believe that 40 specific genes contribute to left-handedness. Scientists also state that 75% chance of a new born being left-handed is linked to the environment or lifestyle around the mother during pregnancy.



The English word ‘sinister’ is derived from the Latin for left-hand side. In French, the word ‘gauche’ means left and awkward and clumsy. Though there is no definitive scientific explanation to left-handedness and is attributed to brain asymmetry. The trait is believed to be genetic. It is not any health disorder.

International Left-hander’s Day was started on 13 August 1992, by the Left Handers Club in the US. According to lefthandersday.com, the day was first celebrated as an opportunity for left-handers everywhere to celebrate their uniqueness in ‘lefty zones’ and increase public awareness of the struggles left-handers are forced to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Though it may seem odd, but left-handers do face certain practical problems at home, work or day-to-day activities because machines, gadgets,computers, tools are all made keeping right-handed people in mind.

Bipin Chaugule’s Association of Left-handers organizes awareness camps in schools, mainly for parents who tend to be upset about their children’s left-handedness. Most left-handers recount tales of how they were scolded, beaten or counseled into being a right-handed one as it was considered normal and left-handed as abnormal. However, with increased awareness, this is not the case anymore. The world around the left-handers is slowly but certainly improving to overcome the practical biases. And fortunately the stigma of being left-handed is gone. Though some left-handers complain about equipment and tools not being user friendly.

Some of the famous left-handed people are:
Albert Einstein – considered the most famous physician of the 20th century.
Mahatma Gandhi, Charlie Chaplin, Tennis player Martina Navratilova, Industrialist Laxmi Niwas Mittal, Inventor and designer Leonardo Da Vinci, Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Indian PM Narendra Modi, Industrialist Ratan Tata, Badminton player Jwala Gutta, Acteress Angelina Jolie, Marilyn Monroe – the most popular Hollywood actress, famous for her role in Ladies of the chorus. Bill Gates – former CEO and founder of Microsoft. Oprah Winfery – popular television chat show host. Amitabh Bachchan – popular Bollywood actor.
Barack Obama – President of USA. First coloured person to take office of President in US.

Now the outlook towards left-handers have changed. They are not looked down upon. Some even feel left-handers look more stylish whether in sports, arts, films and general appearance. Others argue that’s not the case and people think so because they are different. Some possibly feel so because they are different than the normal people. Isn’t it a left-handed compliment!


Facts:
100 million Indians are lefties * 10% people in the world use their left hand * 25% of left handedness is genetic * 40% of all Nobel Prize winners till date have been lefties * As compared to women, twice as many men are left-handed * According to research, lefties have a sharper memory and are more mentally flexible * Because they have quicker reflexes, they are better at 3D perception. Hence, they have higher chances of winning virtual games * The left hand in Hindi is called Ulta Haath, which literally translates to the opposite, wrong or bad hand!

Trivia:
Studies suggest that left-handed people use the right side of their brain more. This is probably why they are more innovative, creative and inclined towards art, dance and music * As compared to right-handers, they tend to chew food in the left side of their mouth * Babies who are born premature are usually left-handed *Unfortunately, they are more susceptible to have allergies and migraine attacks. They are also likely to suffer from insomnia, dyslexia and speech impediments like stammering and stuttering * More than 2,500 left-handers are injured every year because of using equipment meant for right-handed people.

Most left-handers grow up to be ambidextrous (are able to use both hands) because from a young age, they are taught to use their right hand for performing activites like holding a toothbrush, writing, etc.

Studies have shown that certain species of animals and birds like kangaroos and the sulphur-crusted cocatoo use their left hand/claw to eat. So humans aren't alone left-handers!



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By 2024, Indians to be the fastest growing international visitors to USA

Indians have started travelling far and wide. They are getting adventurous, go on sight-seeing new tourist spots, go to enjoy and have good time and try out new cuisine. The US expects Indians to be the fastest growing overseas visitors in the next five years. The US department of commerce’s ‘Forecast of International Travellers to the US by Top Origin Countries’ sees the number of Indians growing from 13.8 lakh in 2018 and 14.3 lakh in 2019 to almost 19 lakh in 2024.

The anticipated growth of 37% in absolute terms (comparing 2019 to 2024) and 5% CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) is the highest among the top 21 source visitor countries. The average five year growth in the total number of visitors from all 21 countries is 13.7%. The CAGR of 2.2% for visitors from the 21 countries is expected to rise from 8 crore in 2019 to nearly to nearly 11 crore in 2024.

Canada and Mexico are the top two source markets for international visitors to the US. Among overseas visitors, UK, Japan and China are the top three markets. India was at number 10.
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Picture Post:
Vethoba Temple at Arawall
 in coastal Maharastra
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