Culture & History of Kerala
A strip of fertile land. On southwest coast of India.
Immensly blessed by nature. The beautiful beaches. rivers, lakes, backwaters, hill stations, plains, wildlife sanctuaries, shrines, festivals, forests and the palaces. Anywhere the Soulful. Kerala’s slogan ‘God’s own Country’ is not a cliche, but a reality.
3 international airports,while southend to northend railroads. Bus, taxi, and the autorickshaw are available even in remote corner.
Receptive people with 5000 years old culture. The 52-letter language English widely used. The land of ayurveda with 600 plant species and Paddy fields. The Coconut palm groves, Arecanut groo ves and plantains. The low hills are rich in pepper, rubber, tea, coffee, cardamom. While the high hills consist of wildlife. Scenic and greenic.
Parasuram, incarnation of Lord Vishnu, created Kerala. He reclaimed land by throwing his axe to the sea.. That is legend.
The State formed in 1956. Travancore, Kochi, Malabar merged to form Kerala. Tolerant community. Beholds ethnic culture. Inherited from Arabs, Dutch, French, Afghan, Portuguese and British.
Kerala’s own Martial Art – Kalarippayattu
The emphasis is on skill over flashiness and mind over matter. The combat system is unique and rhythmic. The inspiration is drawn from animals. Mental discipline is a must. The battle is fought in the mind as on the ground. Willpower is a must to swing the weapons.
The word kalari denotes gymnasium and payattu fight. Perfection is achieved only after years of practice. Kalaripayattu is directly linked to ayurveda. A fighter is an expert in spondylitis and backache curing treatments as threes ailme nets often occur during the fight. The weapons used are, a curved stick, a long stick and a flexible sword.
Ethnic Dance forms of Kerala:
Koodiyattam: The oldest perform art. Performed in UNESCO in 2001 and received world acclamation. Story told by expression of emotions – anger, joy, happiness and the like. No word or voice will come out. Men and women perform.
Mohiniyattam: Women’s monopoly. A dance-drama. Story by mild expression. The costume and hairstyle are typical.
Kathakali: A colourful, muter, action-bound dance-drama. The last arrival in the classical forms. The makeups go through a tedious process. The costume is very peculiar.
Theyyam: A folklore ritual art. Confined to Malabar area – north side of Kerala. At the peak point of the performance , the performer is supposed to have attained supernatural powers. In some performance, the performer jump to a bonfire and come out unhurt.
Thullal: A funny form of dance- satire and humour-clad. A mixture of art and literature. The spectators flood in humour-tonic.
Kerlala’s Harvest Festival – Onam:
Celebrated by all castes and creeds alike. A 5-day long event. Celebrated as per Malayalam calender – either in August or September. The legend story is that Kerala was once ruled by mystic King Mahabali. He honest to the core. A jealousy-born demon – Asuran – approached the king for some favour. The king ordered him to ask whatever he wants. The cunning Asuran asked just three feet of land. The king agreed. The Asuran measured two feet by his foot; for third foot the land was little short to the extent the king stands on. The bewildered king ordered to measure the land he stand on to complete the three feet. The Asuran did so, and the king went beneath the earth. Before the king went beneath he requested to permit him to visit his subjects once in an year. The Asuran agreed. And it is the king’s visiting day , the Onam.
During these days everyone will wear new dresses, purposely bought for Onam. Special sumptuous goods with feasts, variety of bananas and banana chips will be arrange in each home as must. The Onam eve sales in shops of all hues soars to sky. Those who are out of Kerala will schedule their leave to join the family for Onam. All the household and utility items manufacturers choose this occasion to introduce their products in Kerala before anywhere else in India.