The Fascinating Human Component in God’s Own Country - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Fascinating Human Component in God’s Own Country

The nature loving people of Kerala

The world over knows or at least have heard of the beauty of Kerala’s stunning landscapes, but what we might not know are its fascinating human elements. Kerala is a human scape that draws belief, inspiration and faith from its rich cultural past, its seafaring capabilities, its love for nature and its rich trading experiences. A highly adaptable and hard working race, its people comprise of nature lovers, fishermen, artisans, footballers, farmers and those who have a zest for life and wish to indulge in its simple pleasures.

This article is a humble attempt at celebrating these fascinating people of Kerala and their many charming attributes.



Kathakali

One of Kerala’s gift to the world is its classical dance form called Kathakali. Those colorful faces, that elaborate make up and costume and the unbelievable facial expressions are the trademarks of Kathakali. Even though the fully developed version of the dance originated in the 17th century, it has its roots in temple and folks arts from the 2nd century BCE. Elements of the Kathakali dance can be found in ancient Sanskrit texts such as the Natya Shastra.

While a Kathakali dance performance can take you on a mesmerizing mythological journey, the dancer has to spend years of training in training their body and mind before they reach this level of precision and control.

Admiring the Neelakurinji mountain view

One with Nature

One of the things that stand out with the people of Kerala is their unanimous love for mother nature. May be, that is the only reason why Kerala has remained as God’s own country and not morphed itself into a concrete jungle. The people of Kerala love their farms, their green cover, their plantations, their estates and their tropical forests and jungles.

Can't stop admiring the lush nature inside Pampadum Shola National Park, Kerala

They honestly believe that they will disappear if their green cover disappears and hence take utmost care of it. You can see this love for nature in all Keralite families, the farmers, the forest officials, the tourist guides, the boatmen and almost every single citizen of Kerala from all strata of society. And this love for nature can be seen in their traditional cuisines, their festivals and during the monsoons.

Kerala's floating life at a glance

Secular

Kerala is a melting pot where the most diverse of ideologies, faiths and cultures co-exist.  Their ideologies are a beautiful mix of communism and democracy. May be, that is why, they are most literate state in all of India. And may be, that is why their per capital income per household is also on the higher side.

Celebrating secular India - Vasco Da Gama square, Kochi

This secular nature of Kerala along with its diverse array of cultures is one of its highlights and one that begs a visit. In fact, it is what makes the people of Kerala so very unique.

 With locals at Bekal beach, Kerala

Food

It is this rich diversity of culture and the love for nature that creates the lip smacking Kerala cuisine. From the breakfast items of appam with potato stew and idiyappam with kadalai curry to the sadhya meals served on banana leaves for lunch, from the adaprathaman and steamed banana fritters for dessert to freshly caught fish cooked in coconut and spice curry and from fresh toddy to kattan chaya as drinks, Kerala cuisine is a divine mix of spices, aromas and ancient power foods. These foods are not only a treat to the senses, but they take you straight to gastronomic heaven.

Kerala's rich cultures

Fishing

It’s long coast to its vast backwaters and umpteen rivers makes fishing an integral part of Kerala’s heart beat. It were these waters that allowed Kerala’s fishermen to explore the high seas and trade with other countries in the past. And it is because of this trade and sea-faring capabilities that you see the multi-faceted and adaptable nature of the people of Kerala. Whether it is fishing via Chinese fishing nets, dealing in import-export business or being comfortable living a floating life, it is this rich past that passes on its learnings to the people of Kerala.

Kerala's love for fishing and football

Football

Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Germany and other teams are cheered frantically here. Cricket might be the most popular sport and canoeing might be the heartthrob of Kerala, but if there is one sport that all of Kerala loves, it has to be football (soccer). It could be the beaches, the small village grounds or the streets of the city, Kerala does not mind where it seems to play its football as long as it plays it.

The traditional Strawberry wine of Vattavada, Kerala

Ayurveda

Kerala’s love for traditions and ancient roots can be seen in its rich practice of Ayurveda. This traditional science of medicine thrives in the families of Kerala. Be it home remedies for common ailments or a full fledged course of treatment in their specialized hospitals and ayurvedic centers, no one does it as well as Kerala. The tropical environment, lush greenery and rich knowledge of Ayurveda makes Kerala one of the best places on the planet for a rejuvenating Ayurvedic holiday.

The famous garlic of Vattavada, Kerala

Kalaripayattu

Did you know that Kerala is home to India’s oldest surviving martial art. You might have seen it in movie stunts and fights, but to see Kalaripayattu in real action is a different thrill altogether. Originating sometime in the 3rd century BCE, Kalaripayattu incorporates a detailed understanding of the human body and the knowledge of Ayurveda and Yoga.

Bekal Fort and Bekal beach, Kerala

There are many other human elements that can be experienced in the state of Kerala and that add tons of value to your overall holiday, but the above are some of the few salient ones that come to my mind when I think of Kerala’s fascinating human scape. Are they any that are your favourites or one that caught your eye on your holiday to Kerala? Do share it through the comments below so that all of us can learn about it.

Note: This article has been sponsored by Kerala Tourism.



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