The land of greenery and natural beauty – “Kerala” has been one of the most cultured and traditional state in India. It is situated in the south and origin dating back early 10th century. The culture of Kerala is a combination of both Indian and Dravidian culture and the culture is being influence by the neighbor. Kerala is popularly known for it rich culture and traditions includes - Temples, Festivals, Food, Cloths, Architecture, Dance & Music and Art and craft etc. It is lies in between the Arabian Sea and Western Ghats. The culture influenced by the huge number of people from the Malayalis and Dravidians. Beside the three main religions of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam Culture, Kerala is worldwide known for its Art & Culture, Dance Forms and Music etc. The name Kerala derive from the word ‘Kera’ and ‘alam’, kear means coconut and alam means land so it is meant “The Land of Coconut Trees”. The mother language of Kerala is Malayalam and it is believed that Parasurama is the creator of Kerala. He converted a portion of sea into land by throwing his axe.
We are present the some elements of Kerala Culture.
Folk Dance and Music
The Folk dance of Kerala is one of the major attraction and present great culture which consists of the Kathakali dance, Kaikotti Kali dance, Kuthiyottam dance, Tiruvathira dance, Thirayattham dance, Kakkarissi Kali etc. Kathakali dance is one of the world famous form which is around 300 years old. Kanniyar Kali is a dance which performed in front of Goddess Bhagvaty. It is one of the oldest folk dance form and also a fast moving dance. Kaikotti Kali folk dance is performed by women of Kerala by Dancing in Symmetric circles which is performed during festival seasons. Kuthiyottam dance is one of the major dances in the district Thiruvanathapuram which is performed in the temple in front of deities.
Cloths are one of the major elements which present the traditional and culture of Kerala. During the festival women wear sarees called Kasavu and men wear mundu. Mundu is a similar to a lungi but now the youngster wear western clothes. Lungis are very common for casual occasions for Men. Kanchipuram Saree made of silk which is one of the major traditional dresses of women wear in weddings and dark colors are preferred.
Cuisines of Kerala are major part of its rich culture. Kerala cuisine has Vegetarian or Non- Vegetarian dishes prepared using fish and red meat. Coconuts are growing in abundance in Kerala which is widely used in dishes. The boiled rice is the major dish of Kerala. Puttu and Kadala curry, Appam with stew, Karimeen pollichathu, Malabar Parotta with Kerala Beef curry, Pumpkin and lentil curry, Palada Payasam, Prawn Curry, Thalassery Biriyani, Fish moilee, Banana Fritters etc are the major cuisines of Kerala.
Art and Craft
The state of Kerala has rich culture which is depicted in its art and crafts. The Ayurvedic Soaps, balms, wood carving, woven fiber baskets, mats and curious etc are all these present the old traditions of Kerala. The various handicrafts available here like Brass, Bell Metal, Coir and Cane, Ivory works, Lacquer ware, sandalwood carving, Textiles, Wooden toys, Kathakali Masks and Wood carving etc makes the Kerala a unique state. Kerala Jewelry is also unique in its design and mostly made up of gold.
Onam is a 10 days harvest festival celebration of Kerala which celebrated in the month of August – September. All the festivals are celebrated with great joy and grandeur and the 10th day of Onam is very important. Vishu is the New Year for the keralites which comes around April. Vishukani is a popular festival here, on this day the elders gives gift their children. Thrissur Pooram is celebrated in the month of Medam. It is a festival of temples and tow traditional groups compete against each other and best in the contest by clothing their elephants in beautiful garments and having different huge umbrellas.
The people of Kerala have various rituals and most of the rituals are temple rituals. Poothanu Mathirayum is a ritual for Goddess Kali in which dancers dress up as Kali Maa and dance in all the Temples to remove the evil demon Daarikan. Patayani is a week-long dance ritual of Goddess Kali. Kannaiyar Kali is a dance offering to Goddess Bhagwati. Apart from this there are various rituals celebrated during Onam. Athachamayam is an elephant march which performed beginning of the Onam festival.
It is an important Indian Martial Art and fighting system that originated in kerala. Kerala is noted for an ancient Martial Art named “Kalaripayattu”. It is a creative way to inspire some traditional art from Kerala. Around 1000 years Martial Art existed in India.
It is believed that the literature of Kerala can be dated back to the 13th century. The Malayalam Literature consisted of Poems and Songs. Manipravalam poetry, one of the famous literatures which is a mixture of Sanskrit and Malayalam language.
Kerala is present a unique architecture which is in Dravisian style of Architecture, commonly found in the south part of India. The architecture is base on the Vastu Shastra and temple also built on the bases of two construction thesis first is Thamtra – Samuchayam and Sliparatnam. The architecture allowed positive energy to flow inside the temple and does not retain any negative energy.
Importance of Elephants
Elephant is the state animal of Kerala. It is an important part of Kerala culture and during all the religious festivals outside the temple Elephants are easily found. Elephant are known as the emblem of the Government of Kerala.