Thursday, October 23, 2008

too much information...

I have always had a fascination with the origins of colloquialism in our language. While living in England, we were able to learn the histories of many familiar phrases while we toured various historical sites. It is amazing to hear words and phrases that were 'created' hundreds of years ago in England, still being used today--in the States in 2008! {Yes Rebecca, I know the English developed the language! Yet you MUST remember, we Americans perfected it:):)}

Along with the origins of colloquialisms, I also have enjoyed researching the history of customs--driving on the left hand side of the road, Mufti Day, holiday traditions, etc. Knowing my interest, Michaela shares any tidbits she learns in her classes with me. Her Social Studies class is studying Mesopotamian history this quarter, so she has had some interesting topics of discussion--
Hammurabi's law being the most recent. I have been learning a lot about early civilization! More than I would like at times!!!
So when she came home and asked if I knew why we shake hands with our right hands, I was curious. Maybe that is why
"curiosity killed the cat"!
She proceeded to tell me that we shake hands with our right hands because in Mesopotamian times, individuals used their left hands as 'toilet paper' thus making it unclean.(Ya' think!) Eating and greeting one another with a hand shake had to be done with the right hand--the 'clean' hand.

Sometimes knowledge is not power. Sometimes knowledge just gives you bad images. This is certainly not the visual I need every time I shake someone's hand.