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I am a Malayali…

Somewhere in the late 2008, a friend (as a part of a research ‘Language of Thought in Multilinguists’) had asked me “In what language do you think?”

My mother tongue is Malayalam, done all my education in English, trained to read and write Arabic, acquainted to Bengali and Assamese (East Indian languages), am more comfortable in Hindi (India’s national language) and due to my (then) environment was exposed to Kannada and Tamil (South Indian languages).  So my task was then to be consciousness of my thoughts and track the language of my thought. After days and (several) tasks- I found that my language of thought was Malayalam (with tee wee bits of English and Hindi interfering in!)

I am a proud Malayali ( referred to people from Kerala), be it for the language (kind of tongue twisting- just that it being different from the other South Indian languages gives it a distinct flavor); the culture ( one of the few in India that places woman at the ‘helm’ of the society) ; beautiful architecture (the nalukettu- a quadrangular building and temple styles); arts and music ( kathakali, mohiniaattam, theyyam, margham kalli, vallam kali); festivals ( Kerala celebrates two festivals with great grandeur- Vishu and Onam. Both are secular festivals and celebrated by all); cuisine (the smell and taste of coconut is simply woooow!!!); and just realised that I can go on.

This blog post has been on my mind for very long and today being November 1 is the best day to celebrate the Malayali in me. November 1 marks the birth of the south Indian state- “Kerala”, and is known as the Kerala Piravi Dinam (simply put Kerala’s birthday). Kerala, the southernmost state of India was established on this date in 1956; prior to which it was independent provinces of Malabar, Cochin and Travancore.

So for me and all my malayali compatriots (who feel like me) – I list down a few reasons as to why I enjoy being a Malayali:

  • I love the black, thick lustrous hair we malayali girls are blessed with. Somebody once recognized me as a malayali with my hair.
  • Malayalis have amazing unity (especially outside Kerala; they probably don’t need that within the state). Countless times I have been helped and had my way through because of the generous ‘chetans’ and ‘chechis’ (in UAE!!!)
  • Kerala is our World and the World is Kerala. Wherever we malayalis are; there will be a Kerala Samajam and/or Malayali Association celebrating Onam and Vishu with the traditional feast fare served in banana leaves.
  • Most malayalis (referring to those who live outside the state) will have a set of mundu (the men) or veshti mundu (the woman).
  • We (or maybe just me) speak high of poets and their poetry that half of Kerala don’t understand.
  • We are proud of our language- after all it has 51 alphabets.
  • We have the highest literacy rate in India- 90.2%
  • Half of Kerala must have not travelled around the world- but we can get into an intellectual conservation on world politics- we are well read! We might be ignorant of what is happening in our back yards but we know who is visiting the White House!
  • Mention “naadu” (native) and a malayali (90 % will) pictures a coconut tree (we love coconuts and coconut trees)
  • Religion is secondary- being is malayali is primary!

I have come across people advocating “We are all Indians” and must promote nationalist feelings rather than regional ones. I agree on that and I am proud being an Indian; but I celebrate the fact that I am an Indian because I am a Malayali!

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About sithararajesh

I am fascinated with this world!!!

19 responses »

  1. Situ, well done my mallu kuti. Proud of you. Kerala brings pride to our Country. Truly an amazing tourist destination with an amazing culture..

    Reply
    • 🙂 tuku.. you must come visiting Kerala once again. this time we do it the right way!

      Reply
      • Superb draft Sithu….Keralam, Ee manohara theerathu tharumo…iniyoru janmam koodiiiiii…..Yenikkiniyoru Janmam koodiiiii……….

      • Very nice one Sithu…one more point abt Hindi being reffered as India’s national language…. Recently Supreme court has issued a sentence where in it is mentied that Hindi is not India’s national language as it is mentioned so anywhere 🙂 ..pls refer wikipedia too with caption “India”….

        One more point about Malayalees…where ever u travel in this planet, u can find atleast one malayalee there (refer to the joke of Kuttappan Chettan giving tea to Neil Amstrong when he landed in Moon…hehe )

      • hihihihihi good one ratheesh (about hindi.. full chammal for me). keep coming back to my blog for a weekly dose of me 🙂

  2. Sithu dear, let me tell u once more: though English is not your mothertongue, u’re very very very much talented. Keep on writing!! I’m looking forward to the following posts my malayali girl 🙂

    Reply
  3. Manu papparambil

    good one bt could have added more intreasting facts about kerala and its culture

    Reply
  4. I’m desperately waiting for the day when I will get the chance to see this beautiful state personally!! I’ve already planned everything: the cities to visit (the unpronouncable capital, Cochin etc), the meals to try (fish molly and everything with coconut), that white and gold sari to wear with white flowers in my hair, to see a big green had dancer with huge eyes..and of course, I will leave in a house boat! 🙂 I enjoyed this patriotic introduction and waiting for more stories about Kerala and Keralites! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Hi Sithara,

    I must say I am impressed with your intriguing writing skills…I’ve read a lot of your blogs from a to z…hope to read from in the near future!!! (Love the hair issues!!)

    Reply
  6. sithu… am soo proud of u..inspite of being brought up in a foreign land, inspite of being used to tat kinda ultra-metro lifestyle u r so well-rooted n know abt ur culture n language….tis is a rare nature v see in most NRI or NRK (non-resident-keralites)… i think alike on such issues as iam also a proud mallu n more than that a proud indian…i believe patriotism starts frm home to region & then to nation..Regionalism in a positive way is no less than Nationalism!!!

    Reply
  7. just wanted to drop in say hi and lovde reading ur blogs

    Reply
    • hi there,

      thank you for dropping by my blog and i am glad you enjoyed reading it. Do keep coming back for more posts, i try to write on a weekly basis and though no earth shaking facts; all that you read is how i see this world thru my eyes 🙂 take care.. God Bless

      Reply
  8. I am a malayali and I am so happy when someone writes about malayalis. I wish you success in writing more and more articles

    Mohammed Shayas M K

    Reply
    • thank you mohammed; hope you like the other posts too

      Reply
      • Yes, I liked other posts too. It was just a matter of time that I was just searching in google for the term ‘Malayali’. I don’t know why I searched that but just to read any blogs written for it. I just find your post then. I would like to tell that this blog is quite nice and cool. I won’t say this is something extra-ordinary, but this made me read. It is so cool that it made me happy. I am from Kasaragod and if you had searched for it, you can find a slight difference in kasaragod culture from Kerala culture. You can also write such an article if you don’t mind.

        If you don’t mind, you may read my blog at http://shayasmk.wordpress.com/

        And also wishing bright future in writing blog.

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