Thursday, March 12, 2009

I have heard people saying, “The world is polluted with malayalees, you are sure to find them even on the moon.” Well I have decided to dedicate this blog specially to the “PEOPLE OF GOD’S OWN COUNTRY”. Being a malayalee myself which I think is very obvious by now, I have always encountered questions like ‘oh, you’re a mallu?’ and it has always made me wonder as to why the sudden change in tone and expression once they know I am one. Kerala, a small state located in the southern end of India is known for having the highest literacy rate. And yet just as any other state, Kerala has its own achievements and failures, advantages and disadvantages.

Our society builds certain common ideas and assumptions. And they give certain stereotyped notions regarding certain communities in our country, most commonly Malayalees. And incase you one of those rare species or exceptions that do not show the typical characteristics you would be surprised to see the change in attitude and the amount of equal footing and respect you get. Also comments when you meet somebody new would always be “You don’t look like that you know” and so on which could really get on one’s nerves. This shows that society has categorized them and they find it difficult to accept anything that would dare break their contemporary notions about people.

Having being born and brought up outside, and hence having grown up with children of different nationalities and cultures, I have seen how malayalees are frequently made fun of and I have also had friends who were even ashamed to say they were from Kerala. This was something that always shocked me. Well maybe some or even most mallus (how they refer to them as) are a little orthodox, a little traditional or a little more narrow minded. I don’t see as to how that makes them any different from the people of the rest of the states. We admit we have our own unique characteristics, like everybody else. But we too in the end of the day are Indians!!! Every state has its own tradition and culture. For example when asked to describe a typical Malayalee girl, one always starts off by saying long oily hair, mostly dressed in sari or churidar, loaded with gold etc. But again that is how it is traditionally done in Kerala. Just like it is in any other state, hair is considered to be a girl’s most prized possession. And oiling the hair is believed to do wonders to the hair. Hence it is a custom followed by most women within the state.

One another reason for picking on the malayalees is the accent. It normally happens as a person learns a second language apart from his mother tongue, which was the first language he mastered in, the person is bound to have an accent. Just like how the French or the Germans have an accent when they speak English. Hence the very fact that they are ridiculed and made fun of, makes them hide their identity. But then again, yes just like every other states, Kerala does have a lot of faults, there does exist thefts, robberies, eve-teasing, murders and every other crime.

Well apart from all this there are a lot of malayalees who have reached high positions and made this little state proud. We have Shashi Thoroor, he was a candidate for the UN secretary general post, Paravathy Omnakuttan – 1st runner up Miss World 2008, Resul Pookutty – Won Oscars for best sound mixing in the file Slumdog Millionaire, P.T.Usha, Anju Bobby George – both who have represented India in the Olympics, K.R.Narayanan- Ex-President of India ,the list goes on.

Hence I would like to conclude by saying that India is indeed a great country because of its culture, its traditions and its citizens. Kerala too is a part of the above mentioned, and hence forth just like every other state Kerala and its people play a role in bringing pride to this great nation.