When you look around, men and women alike have a piece of handkerchief on them. But this important dress sense has been seen by many as an exclusive men’s article. Most Nigerian guys carry hanky for 3 reasons; when they need to dab sweat from their fore-head, to blow catarrah, or to avoid using the common napkin kept for customers in a local buka.It is definitely not in our culture to offer a hanky to a crying lady, so I ll skip that.
Handkerchief or hanky is way more than these…
A clean handkerchief, preferably white, should be part of the dress sense of an individual. White handkerchief sends a strong message to unknown observers that your health is one thing you take seriously. The use of a handkerchief is like a two way communication pathway; It prevents you getting infected from aerosol droplet, floating unseen in the air and it saves those you come across from catching any form of disease from you. So you see?
I see handkerchief from the medical perspective because the social perspective do not sufficiently explain why we must carry a hanky anywhere we go.
Imagine I wake up in the morning, get dressed up and ready for the day’s activity. As I make my way through the busy streets, under the scorching sun, I wipe my sweat-soaked face with my hands. Disgusting!!! Then i happen to meet a colleague at the entrance to the office, and we greet by shaking hands. Gross!!! While at it, I have a sudden urge to sneeze, but I do it instinctively unto my palms, rub both across each other and carry on like nothing happened. Murky!!! I was so busy at work I forgot to wash my hands as I routinely did. Then here comes the cut piece of cake my buddy brought in this morning to mark his birthday. I pick my part of the sizable cake and begin to munch it. Time for lunch at the cafeteria. I walked to a seat and run my hand across the dirty seat, to get it clean…. and on and on!!!
Notice that this is the typical pattern a person would follow if he had no handkerchief on him or her. It is even worse if such individual finds that he is in a region where an airborne infection is ravaging most, as is the case of MERS.
I think we should show some appreciation to our darling handy. It saves us from bad odor/stench, from air borne disease, from dirt on a platform, from a disgraceful sweaty face, from the dirty napkin at the buka or cafeteria, and from a lot more that only you truly know.
Any handkerchief would do or serve, but a white handkerchief speaks volume of your personality and how much you take your health seriously. The good thing is that the use of white handkerchief is cost-effective and it may be reused if washed clean and dried!!!