The people of Kerala, generally called Keralites, are simple down to earth folks who like to live in their own world of simplicity and originality. Their mother tongue is Malayalam and the natives of Kerala who are born and brought up in the state and speak Malayalam are referred to as malayalees. Malayalees are quite protective about their religion, culture and traditional customs, rituals & practices. They are proud of their cultural heritage and will go to any lengths to preserve it. Malayalees generally lead an uncomplicated and healthy lifestyle and they seem happy and content with the simple pleasures of life.
The people of Kerala give much emphasis on health & hygiene and education. They are also particular about ensuring cleanliness, healthcare and physical quality of life. Most people are conversant in English and make it a point that their kids receive education at least till the degree level, even in the rural areas.
The Malayaly way of life is balanced and unassuming, seeking overall satisfaction more than mere materialistic pleasures. They are generally content with the quality of life they lead. Regarding food, they are very particular about their health and are conscious about sticking to a balanced diet. They utilize a lot of herbal concoctions and homemade remedies in the form of oils, powders and soaps to take care of their bodies and health in general.
The natives of Kerala follow a very ordinary dress code. Even during special events and ceremonial occasions, they do not believe in showing off. The women dress up in the traditional unique ‘set mundu’, a graceful and elegant attire which requires the skilful draping of two pieces of cream-coloured cloth with striped or zari border, somewhat similar to a sari (sans the pleats), worn over a matching blouse. The men mostly wear white ‘mundu’ with a kurta or shirt, or a cotton ‘lungi’ with a towel hanging from or worn around the shoulders. The men in cities wear pants and shirts while the sari is worn by all types of women. The younger generation prefer to follow fashion and wear anything from jeans to salwar kameez.
The culture of the people of Kerala is deeply entwined with the state’s history and tradition. Kerala has been one of the most cosmopolitan and peace loving states in India. It has served as a melting pot for the cultures from the orient and the occident. This tolerance of diverse cultural values has persisted through the ages. Kerala’s culture represents the quintessence of the collective achievements of its people in the fields of religion and philosophy, language and literature, art and architecture, education and learning, and economic and social organisation. In fact, throughout its history, the genius of Kerala has blossomed forth in all its vigour and vitality and has helped its people to reach the peak of excellence in all their endeavours.