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Kerala, the southernmost state of India has great culture and civilization which are Dravidian in origin. The non-prehistoric culture of this land is largely associated with the culture of the historical region known as Thamizhagom – a land defined by a common Tamil culture. The various cultural forms of this region include music, dance, art & crafts and literature.
Kerala's legacy in art and culture dates back to ancient era. The state’s contribution in the cultural integration of India is praiseworthy. The rulers of Kerala were patrons of art and culture. They have preserved their past glory by promoting various cultural forms in the state. The history of Kerala can notify about the process of cultural synthesis. All through the ages, Kerala has proved that it can respond to any challenges through its adaptation and combination of ancient traditions.
Today, Kerala has a composite and cosmopolitan culture with the contribution of its people of several races and religions. Although a majority of the population belongs to the Dravidian race (mostly Hindus), the state has also shown a gradual evolution of other races and religions including Christians and Muslims. This composite culture has led to the emergence of a spirit of tolerance and catholicity of outlook, which still present among all Keralites.
Important Factors of Kerala Culture
Some of the cultural aspects and cultural characteristics of Kerala state include:
People of Kerala: An astonishing race of people, following a unique lifestyle-the flawless blend of customary, time-honored practices and progressive, innovative tendencies.
Kerala Cuisines: A delectable cuisine, unique to the region which engages the locally accessible food products such as coconuts, seafood, rice etc.
Performing Arts: An intriguing blend of dance, melodies, theater and mythology. Apart from the well known folk dances viz. Kathakali, Mohiniyattom and Koothu, a custom of ceremonial arts are such as Theyyam, Mudiyettu and Kummattikkali has furthermore been kept alive.
Kerala Music: Like the rest of South India, Kerala's academic music is essentially Carnatic, raag - taal based melodies. It is furthermore famed for Sopanam. Music is an integral part of the everyday life in Kerala. There are traditional folk pieces of music for occasions such as marriages and childbirth and furthermore the devotional songs such as Ayyappanpattu and Maripattu. A number of musical devices encompassing wind and string devices, percussions are performed and practiced in Kerala.
Kerala Painting: Other than the exclusive art of body painting for exact dance types such as Kathakali, Kerala has a rich style of oil paintings. While the state identifies with the rest of India in its use of henna to decorate parts of the body such as hands and feet, Kerala has also its singular art types of floor drawings and paintings (Kalamezhuthu).
Handicrafts of Kerala: Among the kind of handicrafts made in Kerala, the more renowned are sandalwood items, woodcraft, handlooms and metal work, especially brass and copper.
Festivals of Kerala: Kerala is the land of high festivities and cheer. A number of festivals like Onam, Vishu and Thiruvathirai are celebrated. They are generally marked by family get together and festivity.
Malayalam Literature: Though the origins are usually traced to Tamil, due to its affinity to the academic language, Malayalam has evolved and is a vast sea as it stands today. The prose, verse and performances are appreciated by critics worldwide.
Kerala has a great culture that has been contributed by the different races and peoples. Even though Kerala is a small narrow piece of land in periods of geographic position, it is possible for one to find a gigantic number of distinct parts of cultural heritage. The culture of Kerala can be looked from the creative pursuits, cuisines and dance varieties of Kerala.