Kerala is a significant state in India, and the Malayalee culture is something that attracts the whole world towards “God’s own country.” But do you know the difference between Malayam and Malayalee? What’s stopping you, read on!
“Kera,” which means coconut is where Kerala got its name. The “land of coconut” is not only a land of coconut but much more than that. Malayalees are known for their love for food, movies, alcohol, greenery, and obviously, gold!!!
Their Mammootty and Mohanlal craze, the coconut worship and banana chips crave, ladies with long thick black hair who are decked with gold, their accent, and hard work are few of the most common features which you most likely know about them already!
Before we get into 15 interesting facts about Malayalees, this is a fun fact:
“Cheta” means brother in the Malayalam dictionary but not necessarily used in that way! Most of the ladies call their husbands like Chetta or Chettan; the other version will be “ettaa.” This is a universal term to call all the males no matter the relation, just like “Mole” or “Kutty” for any child to near-adult woman. Malayalees have a different but beautiful culture, and all mallus are proud of it.
15 Interesting Facts about Malayalees:
1. Highest Literacy rate, English, and accent:
All Malayalee people are proud of their literacy rate. They have the highest literacy rate in the country and the female sex ratio more than males, which is one of the many interesting facts about Malayalees. They are known for their excellent command over English all over the country. Even though their accent is often made fun of, Malayalees are a cool bunch of people who are easy-going and approachable. Especially if you vibe with “Jhimmiki kammal” and “On the floor baby“!! OK, Chetta, next!
Indeed, every family in Kerala will at least have one member settled in the Middle East. Malayalees are known for their hard work worldwide, which makes them a good asset for the companies abroad. Most of the families go abroad in search of jobs and education, mostly middle-east countries. It has almost become a mini Kerala. Also, most sought jobs are in the medical field. Most of the Malayalee girls pursue nursing courses and fly abroad or different parts of the country to work. It is a plus point if you know a nurse in the hospital, things will get easier for you! Daank(Thank), you Chechii!!
Yes, you read it right. Keralites are known for building big mansions and villas. If you visit Kerala, the architecture will leave you open-mouthed. Every house will have astounding designs and structures, which will be unique from house to house. A coconut tree and a jackfruit tree is a must, even if you have a small hut. Malayalees are known to flaunt their wealth, and it is not a hidden fact. They are proud of their blood-sweat money. Nattil veed evadaya ( where do you live in Kerala?) has a different flex all together when you find a fellow Malayalee outside Kerala.
Malayalee people abide by their tradition and culture no matter where they are. Kerala marriages happen in broad daylight, which is something unique to them. Unlike the rest of the country, which has marriage rituals at night, Malayalees wed during the day no matter what. Even if it is a Hindu, Christian, or a Muslim wedding, they happen during the day. The prosperity of the family is compared to the amount of gold the bride wears. Well, trends are changing, but gold never changes. Malayalee tanimaa, aada alle ellam? (Malayalee culture, isn’t it all we have?)
5. Ph.D. in Sornam aka Gold:
You are either poor or not a Malayalee if you don’t have even a single gold ornament on you, regardless the gender. Just like coconut, gold is another fascination for Malayalee people. If not share market, Mallus definitely invest in gold. Their franchise in gold is all over the world, just like them. You will find the showcasing of the gold when you visit marriages, parties, functions, or any outdoor event where other Malayalees gather. Growing up in a Malayalee household, one is told time and again, about the significance and connection between carats, gold, and respect. “Janakodikalude vishwastha sthapanam” is more than a tongue twister for us!
6. Onam and Thrissur puram are not just festivals:
Kerala’s set’ sari is famous and unique, which everyone identifies as a symbol of Onam. The “pookalam” or flower rangoli, boat race, maveli, thiruvadira is just not a symbol but an identity for a Malayalee. Thrissur puram is another such festival that entire Kerala awaits. With the grandeur of elephants and the “Chendamellam,” a special drum song played along with the fireworks is what completes the Malayalee vibe. Sadhya and payasam is another hallmark of Malayalee food culture. You can’t leave Kerala or go without eating this variety of mouth smacking dishes, which may not necessarily have coconut in each one of them. Surprised? Well, it’s one of the most interesting facts about Malayalees that you will come across.
If you are a Malayalee, then you might know how much you miss the green around you once you leave your native. The banana plantations, the flowing rivers, the hills and mountains, elephants and animals, rubber, and coconut estates. These are a few visual which every Malayalee has engraved in their hearts no matter which part of the world they live in. The paddy fields and crops are a sight to see. The Alleppy backwaters draw a large number of people all around the world to see its beauty.
8.Open ponds, rivers, and wells:
Every Malayalee has once in their lifetime jumped in the river or stream to have a bath. No matter what, this is a special memory every Malayalee can relate to. The open public bath ponds and rivers are unique to Kerala. Women and men go there to wash clothes, bathe cattle, catch fish, or even just have fun and swim around. Children play various games and spend most of the time playing cricket or football in the fields and pond area. One thing every Malayalee household will have is a well in their courtyard. They don’t have R.O. purifiers in their house because they have fresh underwater right from their wells.
It is joked that Malayalees eat, drink, smell, and speak coconut. Well, it’s not a surprise since it is the land of coconut. For the rest of the country, coconut oil equals Parachute, but for Malayalees, it’s not. They either make it in their home mills or buy the trusted government brand “Kera”. Pure or impure, Malayalees can sniff out the coconut oil and tell its purity, which is another of the many interesting facts about Malayalees. Now you know the secret behind thick black hair they have!
Malayalees have a good capacity for alcohol. The long queue in front of the liquor shop, even if its 1 p.m, is one of the interesting facts about Malayalees Toddy, the famous liquor of Kerala, is Malayalee’s favorite, and no brand can replace it. Toddy along with Kappa and meen (tapioca and fish), meat and porotta (maida bread), and choicest non-veg curries are the combination people die for. This is a specialty that all Malayalee people will relate to.
If you’re a Malayalee, you had a ride on this trusted old bus, and for on-Malayalees, it is one of the most interesting facts about Malayalees . Every town and district in Kerala is separated from a lot of green forests, and buses are the savior for them. They believe in pool travels which are often buses as they are cheap and consistent. K.S.R.T.C rides are one hell of a ride that every Malayalee has taken once in their lifetime.
12.Malayalam and Malayalee:
Malayalam is a language, and Malayalees are the people who live in Kerala. Don’t mix them again, please, a request from a Malayalee. This language is one of the toughest languages in the world and requires a lot of tongue movement. Ahem! Nevertheless, Malayalees are pretty quick to pick up any other language, which makes them adaptable to settle down in any part of the world easily.
13. Adaptable and flexible: Malayali bond like carbon chain
One thing the world admires is how Malayalees are flexible and easy to adjust to any climate or surroundings. They are also quick to form chains with fellow Malayalees, and their bond is so strong that they create a mini-community wherever they go. They identify fellow Malayalees with “Malayali aano?” (Are you Malayali?)
14. Kattan Chaya, Pazhampuri, Putt, and Chakka:
The Non-malayalees don’t fret about these words that are the staple for Malayalee people. These are simple things that make up any day of a Malayalee. Kattan chaya, aka black tea, Pazhampuri, aka banana fritters, Putt or rice cake; and Chakka, the love of the life, Mr. Jackfruit. No Malayalee can deny the satiety they get while having these, which for non-Malayalees is one of the most interesting facts about Malayalees
15. Cherava , John’s and Popy kuda, and Paragon cheripu:
These are the essentials of the Malayalee household. Malayalee people can swear on its quality as you will find them in every Malayalee house.
Malayalees are one of the many beautiful communities across India and have their traditions, habits, and culture that make them so unique. Hope you learned a lot through these interesting facts about Malayalees and have gotten to know this exquisite culture a little better.