Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

How can this family of four all have the same character traits?

Asked by john65pennington (29182points) February 11th, 2011

Wife and I were eating at a restaurant yesterday. As we were waiting for our food, I noticed a family of four people, at a table next to us. As their food was delivered, each one picked up their fork and began eating. What drew my attention was that all four family members were eating with their left hand. Wife states this is extremely rare for all the members of one family, to be left-handed. Question: just how rare is it for all members of one family to be left-handed and are there others like these out there?

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10 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Ever sit next to a lefty at the dinner table? You crack elbows the entire time! You will soon learn to eat with your left hand if you do so long enough! XD

JilltheTooth's avatar

I think being a southpaw is a recessive trait, so if both parents were lefties, not so unusual. Also, eating is something you can easily train yourself to do with the non-dominant hand. A better example would have been if they were all writing with their left hands, the very fine motor skills activities are much more difficult to do non-dominantly.

tedibear's avatar

And they might not be left handed. I’ve noticed that it’s more common in Europe for people to keep their fork in their left hand, the knife in the right and not switch the fork over to the right hand. It’s certainly more efficient. My husband is right handed and eats this way. And he’s from Ohio.

Axemusica's avatar

Damn. All these logical answers. I was hoping it was going to be some freak occurrence. Like, if they were all not only eating with their left hands, but eating, chewing, drinking and swallowing in unison. Now that would’ve been creepy.

partyparty's avatar

As @tedibear states, here in the UK it is quite normal to keep our forks in our left hand, whether we are left handed or not.
I am left handed and it feels natural for me to use my fork this way.
I am the only one in the whole family who is left handed

bkcunningham's avatar

Islam prohibits using your left hand to eat and to do many other things.

iamthemob's avatar

There are also etiquette rules that one may be raised with regardless of location. North Americans tend to use the “zig zag style.” This means that when using a fork with a knife, you carve the food into bitesize pieces with the knife in the right hand, finish, and set down the knife, transfer the fork to the right hand, and eat.

Continental style means you just hold the fork in the left hand throughout – so if you’re used to holding it that way, the tendency is to use it in the left regardless.

partyparty's avatar

@bkcunningham Even if they are naturally lefthanded? How do they cope I wonder?

bkcunningham's avatar

@partyparty so long as there is no excuse, such as sickness or injury you must use your right hand to eat and drink. Otherwise it is considered of satan, a habit or arrogance and is sinful and forbidden.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham – well, I think that it’s more along the lines of the Leviticus type of law in this case – religious reasons are given for public health regulation. The right hand is “holy and noble” and therefore a list of things are to be done with or starting with the right side or hand (e.g., eating). However, this is paired with the requirement that stuff that is considered “dirty” should be done with the left hand (e.g., entering the bathroom).

In the end, it more is because it mirrors a more general North African/Middle Eastern/Asian custom, I believe, of “wipe with the left, eat with the right.”

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