Kerala, what is that first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about this prepossessing land? Is it the clean beaches, the backwaters, the hill stations, or the landscape? Well, let’s add on an inevitable element that marks Kerala so different and unique, the humanscape of Kerala!
The slow-moving self-sustaining people of Kerala is what makes the state stand out in front of the world. A humble bunch who enjoy the calm and subtle lifestyle, but who also are the lovers of the fury of rain, the battle of football games, and the beautiful chaos of festivals. So what makes the land and people so grounded while being passionate and lively at the very same time?
Here we are talking about a self-made race who fought so many wars that are part of the history of Kerala and the country. From fighting against the Britishers, to the fight to abolish untouchability, to the fight opposing capitalism, Kerala has done it with much unity and pride. Communism played a cardinal role in forging Kerala’s history, and the liberalists never allowed any invaders to stay, let alone divide and rule.
When it comes to warmth and hospitality, the people of this humble state never shy away. Maybe that is the reason why Kerala is always home to a large number of foreigners, and they choose this land for a happy and content life like most Malayalees here. Kerala’s traditional and cultural possessions need no formal introduction; from Ayurveda to Kalari Payattu – the traditional martial art to performing arts to crafts and festivals, it is rich in cultural and traditional values. This treasured identity is still being carried forward to the coming generations without losing its true essence.
Kerala was always a great example of sustainable living, the majority of the population with their own land cultivated almost everything needed for day to day living. The older generation hardly had to go to grocery stores, as they had enough produce to meet their needs. But lately, it is seen that Kerala has also fallen under the urbanization spell. Many Keralites too drifted into the hands of urban fashion and chose to sell their lands to nest away in the concrete jungle for cozy and comfortable living. Well, this had its consequences, and things are changing again for good. People are starting to follow their ancestral paths, a return to the homeland. This shows that there is no replacement for what God’s own land can offer.
Today, we can see a lot of households in Kerala who have partially, or even completely remodeled their lifestyle to come close to Mother Nature. This begins with small acts because if we take care of the small things, the big things will take care of themselves. The recent calamities, the heavy rains, floods, landslides have taught us the value of sustainable living. Along with sustainable living, Kerala also focuses on being self-reliant. The state’s education and health sector serve as the best possible example for this statement. A small state like Kerala was able to successfully overcome the deadly virus ‘Nipah’ without many casualties and heroically stopped it from spreading outside the state. A competent team including politicians and medical professional worked 24/7 to stop this from turning into a disaster. This could happen only because the ministry and medical professional believed and respected each other’s viewpoints and findings and kept people above ego and power. All these just make the land worth its name, god’s own country. You know the true heartbeat of a place when you know the people and their lifestyle. You will be wished, welcomed, respected and above all, you’ll be accepted by the humanscape of Kerala, wholeheartedly. Apart from its beauty, Kerala is also known for its vast cuisines. Ranging from South Thiruvithamkoor style to the North Mappila cuisine, one would not find a similarity as there are thousands of varieties of food items to try. That’s not it, each cuisine is tagged to a tale, a tale of unity and solidarity. This is the perks of being a truly secular state!
Kerala portrays the real, yet fascinating interaction of humans and nature in a land known for its open, inclusive way of life.