20 Jun

Why Kerala is known as God’s own country – Part 2

Malayalam language

Malayalam Language (മലയാളം)


  • Thunchathu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan is known as the father of Malayalam language.
  • Malayalam is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. Similarly, it has official language status in Kerala state, The union territory of Lakshadweep islands and Puducherry.
  • The Malayalam language listed as a “Classical Language in India” in 2013. So let’s check those Six Classical languages in India. [Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Odia].
  • The scripture has 52 letters, one of the largest alphabet systems in the country. And the script consists of a total of 578 characters as well. So any other Indian language can write using this script.
  • Malayalam has a huge vocabulary. It’s about 90,000 words. The modern Malayalam literature is complex as that of any other languages in the world.Malayalam Script

    The Malayalam alphabets

     via Wikimedia Commons

Quick facts:

  • The Malayalam language is under the Dravidian language family. So, it has some similarities with other Dravidian languages. Mainly similarities with the Tamil (Tamizh) language. But then also there are many differences in Malayalam. Compare to other Dravidian languages. Example: “Annan“ is a common word of Dravidian language family except for the Malayalam language. “Chettan” is the Malayalam word instead of “Annan”. The meaning of the word is the same, “Brother“ or “Elder brother“.
  • The name Malayalam is “Mala“ + “Alam“. That means, the “place under the hill area“. The Western Ghats is that hill area [word “Mala“], which is bordering like a big wall of Kerala states east side fully. State’s south [Thiruvananthapuram] to north [Kasargod] area. Finally, the word “Alam“ means, land/place/region. So Kerala state is geographically known as Malayalam or “Kairali“ also.
  • Native Malayalam language speakers are known as “Malayali“.

It’s one of the tongue-twisting languages in the world. Why? Few points are below:

  • First of all, almost every language is taking an average of 100 words in a minute. The same time, the Malayalam language is talking about 200 words in a minute.
    • Pronouncement of alphabets like Zha (ழ, ഴ) is using only in Malayalam (ഴ) and Tamil (ழ) in Indian languages. Example:  Mazha = Rain, Puzha = River.
      Less usage of Zha (ழ, ഴ) is presently in Tamil. But Malayalam is using that also regularly without many changes by generations.
    • Similarly, other pronouncements like Nja(ഞ്ഞ), Nga(ങ്ങ), Tta(റ്റ), Nta(ന്‍റ) also not easy for non-native Malayalam speakers. Actually, it’s very difficult to get the exact pronunciation of such Malayalam words with English alphabets.
    • Even more different and unique type of sounds like Ra (ര) also available in Malayalam. That’s why it’s very difficult to write Malayalam in any other language scripts. So Malayalees (native Malayalam speakers) can learn other language pronunciations very easily.
  • Malayalam has a similar and easy type of logic like English. Mainly for counting in the number system.
  • It has the longest palindrome (a word that reads the same backward, and forwards) in the English language. Example “MALAYALAM”
  • Malayalam has a strong and huge literary history. The city Kottayam (The city of Letters) is an example of the Malayalam literary strength. That place is the Capital of Malayalam publishing houses.
  • The first travelogue in any Indian language is Malayalam book “Varthamanappusthakam”. Published in 1785 AD.
  • Another important thing is, The Kerala state’s official name is “Keralam“ in the Malayalam language by traditionally. But it’s “Kerala” (English & Hindi) as per Central Government records of India.
  • One of the major Malayalam newspapers has a National record. The largest selling regional language newspaper in India. Similarly, the 11th most circulating newspaper in the world.

Onam festival - Pookkalam

The Onam festival – Pookkalam (religious art with flowers)

Religious culture

  • Hindus, Christians, Muslims, and Jews live peacefully together. (Jainism & Sikhism are unique in the state).
  • Onam is the state festival, traditionally. This festival is related to the epic of Kerala’s ancient king Mahabali and Vamana avatar. King Mahabali requested the Lord, one thing. Allow him to visit his kingdom at-least once in a year. Therefore, Keralites celebrate the Onam festival to welcome the king Mahabali.
  • St. Thomas Church, Thrissur, Kerala is the first Church in India. It was established in 52 A.D.
  • The first mosque in India is in Kerala. Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungallur. It built-in 629 A.D.
  • In addition, The first synagogue in India also in Kerala. The Paradesi Synagogue Kochi city. It constructed in 1567 A.D. Now also Jewish community is residing in Kochi city, the same as Keralites.
  • Pooram is a Hindu temple festival in Kerala. Thrissur pooram is the biggest pooram. Moreover, Thrissur pooram main fireworks are well renowned all over the country.

Similarly, do you want to get some more information?
Therefore, please check the previous post:- Why Kerala is known as God’s own country – Part 1 for more pieces of information. Thanks,

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About Sanju

I’m Sanjunath.S from Mumbai, India. I like web technologies, traveling & history. I have 11+ years of experience in web technologies like HTML 5, CSS 3, JavaScript, Bootstrap, and PHP.

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