One of the most unique cultures in the world is found in India. In India again there are various cultures living together in harmony, it’s like a boiling point where all different types of people with different culture and customs have survived for ages. If you travel south to the state of Kerala you will notice a very significant and beautifual culture that the people over there have developed. Many say that the culture there is a mixture of both Aryan and Dravidian civilization. To add to that many invasions of the foreign nations have also greatly influenced the place and the people and the way they live their life in Kerala. The people over there have maintained the age old traditions and therefore the antiquity and the organic continuity is definitely visible but at the same time the modern Kerala has also embraced many different trends and mixed them well with their old ones. The lifestyle of the people, the performing arts, music, martial arts, literature, etc. reflects the overall culture of the God’s own country land.
Performing arts – Kerala has many distinct dance performances out of which ‘Kathakali’ and ‘koodiyattom’ are very famous and the latter has also been declared as the world heritage art by UNESCO. They are dance forms that depict stories about gods or kings and queens or their normal day to day life events that uses extensive facial movements. Another dance form is the ‘koothu’ which is a little light hearted with fun and comic element in it. ‘Mohiniyaattam’ is yet another dance form of the enchantress which is very graceful performed solo by women. There are many other tribal and folk dance forms such as the ‘kummattikali’, Kannyar kali’, etc. It is also important to notice other performance genres which are Islam or Christianity themed.
Music – Kerala is popular for the Carnatic music. A person who played an instrumental role in popularizing this type of devotional Carnatic music in Kerala is a 19th century king of Travancore called the Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma. Besides this Kerala have their own music genre called the ‘Sopanam’ which are raga based songs. One can hear the background music when a ‘Kathakali’ is being performed to understand how this music sounds like. Another very popular music style is the ‘Melam’ heard mostly in auspicious events and temples where one particular instrument called the ‘chenda’. This becomes a little more exciting and unique for over 150 musicians come together here.
Literature – talk about literature and one of the most evident things is the Malayalam language. It is one of the very significant and most difficult languages in India. Malayalam literature is hailed to be very ancient in origin and also very rich. Niranam poets of the 14th century has contributed a lot to the literature and today there are more than a million books published that showcase the richness of the great Malayalam literature.
Martial Arts – unique to Kerala another cultural feature is the age old martial art form called the Kalarippayattu. This fighting form keeps ones mental and physical state fit. There are still so many other cultural uniqueness in this southern state which can be explored first hand.