The Left Handshake.

While my eyes are refusing to open for now.. I’ll quickly write something up before the majority of the people make it into the office on this disgusting rainy day.

I think this topic will also hold a fair bit of relevance especially since I have (and my fellow colleagues) met a lot of new people lately:

It’s nice to meet you.

Having said that..

I’m sure that everyone nowadays knows that more often than not, a handshake is done with the right hand.

However, did you ever wonder why?

My initial thought was – because before toilet paper, the left hand was used to wipe themselves.. I just did some research just then, and despite how silly that sounded, I was actually right lol!

But a better reason is here:

Men used their right hand to shake hands to reveal to each other that they held no weapon. While it is true they could have hidden one in their left hand most men are right handed and a weapon would have normally been held in that hand. It became symbolic to show an open right hand to a stranger or potential adversary, and from then, the shake followed.

I remember watching an anime: Tales of the Abyss (great RPG, but so-so for anime), one of the characters near the end *spoiler* is about to offer his right hand for a handshake, but retracts and extends his left hand instead.

The translator notes explained this motion; as the right hand is to reveal there is no hidden weapons, more often than not, as the weapon is wielded in the right hand, the shield/guard is wielded in the left hand. So.. by offering the left hand for a handshake shows a great deal of trust as you are letting your guard down.

The idea came from a legend Baden-Powell heard while he was in West Africa. Two warring chiefs confronted each other, wanting peace. He dropped both his weapon and his shield. Not only was his right hand empty of a weapon he could attack with, but his left was empty of a shield of which to defend against the weapons of others with.

Just something I found interesting :).

Now.. back to work I guess.

P.S. Lakers vs Phoenix – Western Conference Finals, Game 1!


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