Kerala also fondly called ‘God’s own country’ is famous all over the world for its exquisite beaches, breathtaking hill stations and dynamic hotels and resorts but there is more to this beautiful south Indian State. Kerala has a great culture. It’s called great because it is contributed by people of different races. One should learn the history of Kerala and in turn you could end up learning about the process of cultural synthesis. It is also widely said that the culture here is the culture of whole India. Many foreigners came, from French to British and many others in the ancient times but the culture is intact. It has persisted due to the reasons of unity, continuity and universality. In this southern hotter state, importance is given to human achievements in the fields of religion, philosophy, language, art, education and social organization.
It is also said that the culture of Kerala is the outcome of the Aryan and Dravidian cultures which had been mixed and evolved for centuries. The Malayali people who reside here have done everything to maintain the antiquity of the region. Arts, music, martial arts, sports, literature, etc all have their distinct Keralian characteristics to them.
Native Keralites have been performing arts such as Koodiyattom. It is a form of drama or theatrical representation of epic stories of Gods. UNESCO has announced it as Human Heritage Art. Other two most important 500 years old dramas that interpret ancient epics are Kathakali and Kali. Carnatic music is a native product of South India but the Ragas and Talas in Kerala dominates this genre of music. We have seen enough of the kung fu and karate from the Far East but there is something different and equally exciting Kalarippayattu in this coconut growing state. It had almost been vanished when British Rule existed in India but now it is slowly coming back and is gaining worldwide attention.
Besides these, Malayalam literature is gaining much needed appreciation worldwide. Its origin is ancient and has poets from as far as 13th and 14th century. These days there are innumerable poets and some of them have gained international recognition such as the Arundhati Roy after winning the Booker Prize in 1996. Kerala is also a proud state for having 100 percent literacy rate in the whole of India. This higher education level has changed its society in many greater ways and has influenced their lifestyle. They like to live in a more western standard but yet they retain the Malayali touch to everything. Right from their food to houses to clothes they wear, they like to splash upon themselves with the colors of ethnic Malayali culture.
Besides being hand in hand with modernity they also have their own Malayalam calendar which is basically used to understand the timing of agricultural and religious activities. Elephants are another big part of their life such as marriages and birthdays. Kerala also has many temples and festivals unique to their region.