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Left Handshake

Scouts across the world all greet each other with a left-handed handshake.  This is a sign of trust and friendship. But why did Baden Powell decide to use it when he formed the Scout Movement?


There is a story that when Baden Powell entered Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti, he was met by one of the Great Chiefs of the Ashanti.  BP offered him his right hand as a sign of friendship.  The Chief transferred his shield, which he held in his left hand to his right, which contained his spear and offered his left hand as a sign of friendship. When asked why, Baden Powell was told that, by offering his left hand, which traditionally was used to hold a shield for protection, the Chief was showing his trust towards the other person whether it be his enemy or a friend.  Without the shield for protection the Chief would then be open to attack; and from then began the practice of the Left Handshake, which is used today by millions of Scouts throughout the world.