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why is the left hand considered unclean

The word “clean” has a lot of different meanings today depending upon the context in which it is used. My question is why the right hand and not the left hand… Can we imagine a body or life without the left hand? In the seventeenth century it was thought that the Devil baptised his followers with his left-hand and there are many references in superstitions to the “left-hand side” being associated with evil. Don't Wear Your Shoes Inside. Did you enjoy it? Google "left-handed-oath". This constant exposure to "uncleanness", even after washing, leaves a mental stigma against the left hand. “If you’ve got an iPhone, you’re likely to get better reception … Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. ... and it came even to me: Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. According to wedding ring seller My Trio Rings, couples opt to wear their wedding rings on the right hand in India, where the left hand is considered unclean, and Orthodox Christians also customarily wear their wedding bands on their right hands. 1. Is this all superstition, or just hygiene-related? Do not make a fool of yourself and commit a major cultural faux pas by putting your left hand forward to receive or give anything, be conscious of the left … The left hand is considered unclean. But as many Thais are left handed, and there isn't as much forced right-handedness here, the dirty left isn't so repulsive as in Malay culture, for example. Conversely, the feet are the least sacred part of the body – take your shoes off before entering someone’s home or a temple, and always sit without your feet pointing towards anyone else. It’s a criminal offence to disrespect the monarchy, and standing on the king’s face is a sure way to do that. Do you know why the left hand is considered unclean in the Arab world? By design it is more in tandem with nature and its surroundings. For example, in the operating room, things must be clean, and that has a very rigid, strict interpretation—to be as free as possible … The same sentiments regarding the relationship between sidedness and virtue have been documented in certain African and Middle Eastern cultures as well. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Human body is an marvellous biological machine. Thus, the right hand should be used for eating. Update: I understand that the right hand is considered a place of honor. It writes that on the last Day of Judgment: “He shall separate all nations one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left…then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”. Ever tried the Arab way? We all try not to be brash tourists, of course, but even with the best will in the world, sometimes we can cause offence without meaning to. They consider the left hand unclean, so you should never use it for anything publicly. In the middle and near East, the left hand is used as the "toilet hand"--to wipe after relieving one's self. For example, in the operating room, things must be clean, and that has a very rigid, strict interpretation—to be as free as possible from all germs and contamination. What about toilet paper? Avoid using your left hand if you are encouraged to eat with your hands. Given religion’s authoritative “truth telling” at the time, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that these associations yielded some very painful consequences for the populations whose affairs religion governed. There is a general distinction between northern and southern Indian food. Given the ubiquity of general wrongness that multiple disciplines have attributed to left-handedness, it’s in some ways surprising that today experts herald left-handedness as a sign of creativity and mental deftness. Here are some of the most common faux pas people unintentionally make while travelling. Two people gossiping on the pavement in Johannesburg? An Indian may fill your plate for you, or they may expect you to serve yourself. It’s not just in India, either, but all across Asia (even in countries like Burma, more commonly known by its proper name, Myanmar, these days), in parts of Africa and even in places like Dubai. The left hand is taboo. Lack of knowledge about social customs within African cultures can make even the best-intentioned person seem rude. The left hand is for private duty only. In many places, it is also considered polite to leave a bit of food on one’s plate. Posted by 5 years ago. Wash your hands before eating or serving food to an Indian. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. Do not touch food, pass or receive anything, touch anyone or point with your left hand. In many places, it is al… Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Think twice before you stick your palm up to hail a cab in Singapore (as well as in China and South Korea). Do not touch food, pass or receive anything, touch anyone or point with your left hand. It has been 40 years, have stayed in 17 different cities for varying lengths of time, and no one has as yet objected, so stop worrying. You know not to go with a miniskirt in a more traditional culture, but sleeveless tops – even ones that give shoulder coverage – can be frowned upon. 3). Close. Have a look at our range of fully left-handed items to see how we can help solve the problems.. Left-handers do tend to do badly whenever there is any talk of superstition or things that cannot be understood. In most Arab countries and/or countries influenced by Arab traditions, the left hand is considered "unclean" and is not to play a part in social settings at all. If you are eating from a communal tagine, eat with your right hand only. 16-21). 67% Upvoted. Right and left play an important role in Jacob's final blessing to his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 48: 12–20), whom Joseph places at the left and right sides of Jacob, respectively (verse 13), expecting his father to place his right hand on Manasseh (the firstborn) and his left … Culturally speaking, the left hand is unclean. Why is the left hand seen as unclean in Eastern societies? In Southern Africa, it is considered polite to receive a gift with the right hand. Westerners are expected to be punctual for business appointments. Why … Most are said to use their left hands to clean themselves up after using the toilet. LifeXtra here reveals why the use of the left hand receives particular attention amongst Nigerians. Throughout Indonesian society the left hand is used for “toilet duties” and is therefore considered unclean. report. In Indian culture, the left hand is considered unclean, so it is traditional to wear the ring on their right hand. I read the sidebar but it … In Africa avoid taking or passing anything with your left hand. Offered by Jan. From Usenet Archives: In remote areas in summer, my second wipe is always with water at the lake's edge. Creation myths of the time dictated that males were conceived when the father’s “seed” came from the right testicle, and that a female child would be born should the seed come from the left. You might notice you’re magically getting more cabs to stop. So just what had to happen for a beating to become a “normal” response to a child’s use of the left hand — and how has this changed over time? 2-It is honouring the right hand over the left. by Kristen Sarah. The association of the directional left with evil is likely attributed to the dominance of right-handed people within a population, and consequently the awkwardness of motions made from the left side of the body. The idea is the hand that is eaten with is clean, because you use the left hand to deal with unclean things, like wiping your butt. When attempting to explain the genesis of the left’s association with evil, many historians point to a passage in the Book of Matthew. How Left-Handedness Came To Be Seen As Evil, Life Inside Tristan da Cunha, The Most Remote Human Settlement On Earth, What Stephen Hawking Thinks Threatens Humankind The Most, 27 Raw Images Of When Punk Ruled New York, Join The All That's Interesting Weekly Dispatch. I am an Indian, left - handed... and eat with my left hand. Handwriting is one of the biggest sources of actual disadvantage for left-handed people, other than for those forced to work with certain machinery. Hand-to-mouth eating is an important custom in many Muslim countries. Dec 12, 2016 - The left hand is considered unclean and should never be used for eating, feet are always tucked under the table, and alcohol and pork should never be asked for To use both hands is even more respectful. Several cultures consider crossing your legs to be rude. 3-It is using proper etiquette with people, so that one does not shake hands with them, take things from them or give things to them with the hand with which one removes impurities. Moroccans, therefore, rarely eat with their left hand, perhaps only using it to drink from or maybe to pass bread. They are seen as private actions and it is considered disrespectful to perform them in front of others. It is not about left or right hand! Of course, that also means you’ll have to feign excitement about Sydney talk radio. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Should one need to pick up a cup with the left hand due to the right hand being unclean, one can do so. Yetzer ra, an inclination toward wickedness, appears on the left. In Japan, meanwhile, tipping isn’t just not done; it can even be seen as rude. I fail to understand why the left hand is considered so inauspicious although it is very much an important part of our body. It’s not just in the Middle East that snogging, groping or even holding hands in public with your beloved is frowned upon – countries as varied as Haiti and Thailand disapprove too. Similar norms — right, good; left, bad — appear in Jewish writings. In the 19th century, for instance, French sociologist Robert Hertz noted that in his travels to southern Africa, Zulu tribes would pour boiling water into a hole and then place a child’s left hand into it, scalding the hand and preventing its use. It actually isn’t just Muslims. Everyone normally uses their right hand to serve themselves, scooping with the fingers or with a serving spoon. If you are left-handed, this rule is a tough one! In medieval Europe people ate like that too. Most left-handers learn early on how to adapt — and it may even improve one’s skills. General rule of thumb: when in doubt, don’t make out. Lane wrote in his 1836 book, An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, “It is a rule with the Muslims to honor the right hand above the left: to use the right hand for all honorable purposes, and the left for actions which, though necessary, are unclean.”. In the Middle East, the left hand is considered unclean, and using it is generally unacceptable. In remote areas in summer, my second wipe is always with water at the lake's edge. by design most of the humans are right handed. It's good manners to take your shoes off before entering someone's … why the left hand is unclean. Jimi Hendrix’s father felt that being left-handed was a sign of the devil and refused to let his son get a proper left-handed guitar (Paul McCartney used one) or even one visibly restrung for the left hand (as Hendrix used in later life, and this is what most music shops here advise lefthanders to do). Corporate Culture The ancient Celts, for instance, associated the left with femininity — the source of all life — and thus worshipped the left side, treating it as sacred. 2-It is honouring the right hand over the left. Avoid touching people with the left hand, as it is considered unclean and will cause insult. Walk around them, not between them – even if that means dipping onto the street itself. The left hand is generally considered too unclean to actually eat with since it’s said to be the one used to wipe up in the washroom. Therefore, when eating, or shaking someone's hand, you always used your right hand. Answer Save. 2 comments. Targum Jonathan, however, translates "iṭṭer yad yemin" (left-handed) as "open-handed," that is, ambidextrous, as it is evident that the Benjamites were armed with bows and could use both the right hand and the left hand in shooting arrows from a bow (I Chron. Never put your sticks into a bowl of rice vertically – this is only done when leaving offerings for the dead (the same goes for Japan). If you are left handed, I recommend you learn to become ambidextrous. That’s considered rude; instead, stick your arm straight out at shoulder level, and paddle it up and down, with your palm facing down. Diapers? Ethiopians only use their right hand for eating, as the left hand is considered to be unclean. Your left hand remains in your lap while dining. On one Micronesian island, married, engaged, or romantically involved couples never walk hand in hand, although close friends of the same sex frequently do so (carrying no implication of sexual preference). Left handed myths and misunderstandings. The name "Ben Yamin" (= "son of the right hand") is probably a euphemism. 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Part of this is due to design in the world which is often right-hand biased. When making sense of human nature, the Old Testament writes that humans have two impulses, called “yetzer.” Yetzer tov, an inclination toward good, appears on the right. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. In many Muslim parts of the world, in parts of Africa as well as in India, the left hand is considered the dirty hand and it’s considered offensive to offer that hand to anyone, even to help. The ancient Celts, for instance, associated the left with femininity — the source of all life — and thus worshipped the left side, treating it as sacred. If you drop a baht note in Thailand, it’s best to let it drift away – stand on it to pick it up, and you’ll cause huge offence to the people around you (it’s not unheard of to get yelled at). 4-It is a sign of hope that Allaah will make us among those who are on the right hand … Why is the left hand seen as unclean in Eastern societies? Was this the case 2000 years ago in Jerusalem? However, guests should not eat with their left hand, which is considered unclean. This is certainly the reason why the left hand is considered bad in Arabic countries. Before that, during the Spanish Inquisition, the Catholic Church would condemn — and occasionally execute — those who used their left hand. Ehud, the Benjamite judge, used his left hand to thrust the dagger into the body of Eglon, King of Moab, thereby avoiding suspicion and rendering parrying difficult (Judges iii. When Michael Salazar wrote that his “fourth grade teacher would force me to use my right hand to perform all of my school work” and that “if she caught me using my left hand, I was hit in the head with a dictionary,” he described more than just an encounter with a violent instructor; he illustrated the physical consequences of centuries of religious, scientific, and social thought. Research the rules before you arrive at your destination. Does anyone know why? Hand-to-mouth eating is an important custom in many Muslim countries. Why … Offered by Jan.. From Usenet Archives:. India, Burma and more: Wearing sleeveless tops. In Indonesia, it is rude and offensive to hand someone something with your left hand, especially food or drink, or to shake hands with your left hand. Even in english, we have left and right, which implies that left is wrong. The blessing of laying the right hand was greater than the left hand. Cap sleeves all the way. Using your iPhone to talk on the phone. Several cultures consider crossing your legs to be rude. 3-It is using proper etiquette with people, so that one does not shake hands with them, take things from them or give things to them with the hand with which one removes impurities. As Christianity spread, traits given to the left side would change in correspondence with its own founding myths. For me, I do not even notice the difference. It is not about left or right hand! Have you ever eaten with your hands? Shaking hands or handing over an item with one's left hand is considered an insult." Only touch food with the right hand. 18 Joseph said … It’s also considered generally impure. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. The Greeks presented men and women as opposite pairs, with men representing the right and women representing the left. It’s not the most offensive thing you can do, but you’ll certainly be taken for a snob. However, with Ethiopia becoming such a popular country to visit, many restaurants will happily provide you with a fork and knife. Opinion - Some people happen to be leftists right from birth while others are not. Leviticus 11 is dealing with the subject of cleanness and uncleanness—specifically, with the subject of clean and unclean foods. It is NOT a myth that left-handers have trouble with all sorts of everyday articles and tools. Budget Travel in India – One Month Breakdown; 29 Answers. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Approval is sometimes shown with a pat on the shoulder, but American-style backslapping is considered offensive. A common enough sentence in many guide books and on Wikipedia. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. In Arab culture as well as many from the east, the left hand is considered unclean. Throughout history, it was common practice to use the left hand in the restroom to clean oneself, keeping the right hand sanitary for shaking hands and eating. In many parts of the world, the left hand is considered unclean, usually because it's used for “ablutions”. For example, in the Middle East and South Africa, crossed legs often show the sole of the foot, a sign of an ill wish or a bad omen. Why Was 'Left' Considered Evil? Two sides of the same coin here – don’t tip, or don’t tip adequately in the US, and you’ll risk being chased down the street, or at least asked what your problem is. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. save. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. The "wiping" answers MAY be correct; Muslims are required to wipe (and do all other unclean things) with the left hand and may eat only using the right (clean) hand. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. If you’re left-handed and visiting places like India, Nepal and the Middle East, you may have to pretend to be ambidextrous – it’s incredibly rude to eat, pick anything up or hand over money with your left. Such darkness wasn’t always attached to that side, however. The left hand is considered ‘unclean' since it is the hand people generally use for washing themselves. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. hide. As E.W. However, there are plenty of people around the world who don't wear their wedding rings on their left ring finger. I know that in some cultures, the left hand is considered unclean because it is used to clean after going to the toilet. Update: well then my right hand must be the dirty hand lol but i use toilet paper. Wikimedia CommonsThe Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man by Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder. Egalitarian Aussies sit up front with the driver, as if they’re your mate doing you a favour rather than a professional doing their job. Left-handedness was not always exclusively associated with wrongdoing; its characterization as “good” or “bad” shifted to correspond with dominant social mores. Always eat and interact with people with your right (“clean”) hand. However, the left hand may be used for holding utensils, glasses and bowls. Introduction61 Leviticus 11 is dealing with the subject of cleanness and uncleanness—specifically, with the subject of clean and unclean foods. In Indian culture, the left hand is considered unclean, so it is traditional to wear the ring on their right hand. It’s not so much that you’ll offend a Russian by smiling at them, but don’t be offended when they don’t smile back. I fail to understand why the left hand is considered so inauspicious although it is very much an important part of our body. There are many similar passages exalting the right hand in Islam's holy book, the Qur’an.In both Islam and Hinduism, the right hand is generally reserved for honourable occupations such as food handling and ceremonial activities, while the left hand is specified for necessary but unclean purposes such as cleaning oneself after defecation. Beyond weakness, Christianity also associated the left with immorality. I can understand why the left hand was considered “dirty”. Approval is sometimes shown with a pat on the shoulder, but American-style backslapping is considered offensive. For example, in the Middle East and South Africa, crossed legs often show the sole of the foot, a sign of an ill wish or a bad omen. To the extent that left in latin based languages still have the "sinista" root. Keep this in mind and use your right hand when giving or accepting any object. Gen. 48:17-19, "When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him; and he grasped his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. Archived. Eating & Drinking-- In Islamic (and Arabic) cultures, the left hand is considered unclean, as this is the hand with which a person performs sanitary tasks. Here are some of the most common things tourists do that cause unintended offence, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Does anyone know why the left hand hand in Thai culture is considered unclean? Conclusion. Why do some cultures consider the left hand as evil or dirty for example one must use the right hand only for eating shaking hands with another person or even making the sign of the cross - trivia question /questions answer / answers For thousands of years, the Devil has been associated with the left hand in various ways and is normally portrayed as being left-handed in pictures and other images. This thought translated to action, and as author Melissa Roth writes, for centuries “fathers-to-be went so far as to tie off one testicle in an attempt to choose the sex of their offspring.”. There is a saying that when you swear with you left hand you do not intend to keep the oath. However, guests should not eat with their left hand, which is considered unclean. Can we imagine a body or life without the left hand? The warrior held the bow in his left hand and the arrows in his right (Ezek. This thread is archived. Though they’re jolly with their friends, Russians don’t smile at or talk to strangers, especially in the cities. The latter is usually much spicier. The left hand is considered unclean because in all Arab cultures, the left hand is used for cleaning oneself after going to the bathroom. The other animals which He left unclean represented the spiritual gentiles. There are many similar passages exalting the right hand in Islam's holy book, the Qur’an.In both Islam and Hinduism, the right hand is generally reserved for honourable occupations such as food handling and ceremonial activities, while the left hand is specified for necessary but unclean purposes such as cleaning oneself after defecation. Instead, "sinister" (Latin for "left") probably took on the meaning of "evil" because it was the left hand (rather than the reverse as he suggests). Travel can be a cultural minefield. In India, the left hand is hand associated with personal hygiene—and that includes putting on and taking off your shoes. Never point with your chopstick, suck on it or beat it against the edge of your bowl, either – the latter implies you’re literally begging for food. xii. Across the Atlantic during the time of the Salem Witch Trials, use of the left hand could lead to one’s burning at the stake. It has been 40 years, have stayed in 17 different cities for varying lengths of time, and no one has as yet objected, so stop worrying. Ass cleanin' hand - left. Personal space is incredibly important in South African culture – even if there’s a group of people in your way, you should never barrel through them. Chopsticks can be a minefield, and not just because of their mechanics. share. In many parts of the world, the left hand is considered unclean, usually because it's used for “ablutions”. Diapers? In many parts of the world, the left hand is considered unclean, usually because it's used for “ablutions”. I am an Indian, left - handed... and eat with my left hand. Left handed people make up about 11 percent of the population in Africa. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Do you know why the left hand is considered unclean in the Arab world? Note that in this painting, as in others like it, Eve always appears on Adam’s left. Do what comes naturally and get in the back of a taxi in Sydney? xxxix. Corporate Culture. Use of the Left Hand. “Why are unclean meats unclean? I don’t know anyone who would choose to be without their left hand. It is the acquired learning that makes us move away from nature. Understanding Arabs: the use of the Inappropriate Hand. They consider the left hand unclean, so you should never use it for anything publicly. Also, could you point me to the right subreddit to ask if this is wrong? You may also like. The left hand is for private duty only. Do not make a fool of yourself and commit a major cultural faux pas by putting your left hand forward to receive or give anything, be conscious of the left hand’s role in dealing with Arabs. 1. Show activity on this post. Food eatin' hand - right. Some cultures and religions frown on the use of the left hand. In Indian culture, the left hand is considered unclean because it is the hand used when going to the bathroom, for cleaning one’s feet and other “dirty” activities. It depends on the culture, but going back to the latin roots, the left hand and lefties were considered to be evilas they were not the norm. Across time and place, left-handedness has been seen as everything from a sign of moral degeneracy to a symptom of neurological deformity to an illegal act. We all have two hands. Update 2: I read it online about when I was reading up on tips about Egypt for travelling etc. Equally, don’t confuse an apparently dour face for unfriendliness. It is also considered that we can only see ghosts if we … Not that you should really be patting anyone on the head anyway, but resist the temptation to ruffle that cute child’s hair – in Buddhist countries, the head is the most sacred part of the body, so you shouldn’t be putting your mitts on anyone else’s. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. As an example, in France it was held that witches greet Satan “avec le bras gauche” or with the left hand. As far back as the Zohar, a foundational text of Jewish mysticism, Judeo-Christian religions attributed the left with femininity and inferiority, as Eve appeared on and developed from Adam’s left side.

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