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Culture of Kerala From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Traditional dress of Kerala. A Malayali woman in a set-sari (tradition being wearing a mundum neriyathum) and a Malayalee man wearing a mundu with a shirt (tradition being not wearing a shirt). Kerala is a southern most state of India. Kerala can largely trace its non-prehistoric cultural genesis to its membership (around the 3rd century CE) in a vaguely-defined historical region known as Thamizhagom — a land def
  Culture of Kerala From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, searchTraditional dress of Kerala. A Malayali woman in a set-sari ( tradition being wearing a mundumneriyathum ) and a Malayalee man wearing a mundu with a shirt ( tradition being not wearing a shirt  ).Kerala is a southern most state of India. Kerala can largely trace its non-prehistoric cultural genesis toits membership (around the 3rd century CE) in a vaguely-defined historical region known as Thamizhagom — a land defined by a common Tamil culture and encompassing the Chera, Chola, andPandya kingdoms. At that time, the music, dance, language (first  Dravida Bhasha — Dravidianlanguage [1] — then Tamil), and Sangam (a vast corpus of Tamil literature composed between 1,500– 2,000 years ago) found in Kerala were all similar to that found in the rest of  Thamizhagom (today'sTamil Nadu). Later, Keralite culture was elaborated upon by centuries of contact with overseas lands — yet all through this time, its cultural heritage remained defined by its antiquity and organiccontinuity.[2] Contents [hide]1 Performing arts2 Music3 Martial arts and sports4 Literature5 Calendar 6 Elephants in Kerala culture7 Sarpa Kavu (Sacred Grove of the Serpent)8 See also9 Notes10 References11 External links [edit] Performing arts Mohiniaattam, Kathakali, Kutiyattam and Ottamthullal performers.Main article: Arts of Kerala Native traditions of classical performing arts include koodiyattom, a form of Sanskrit drama or theatreand a UNESCO-designated Human Heritage Art. Kathakali (from katha ( story ) and kali ( performance )) is a 500-year-old form of dance-drama that interprets ancient epics; a popularizedoffshoot of  kathakali is Kerala natanam (developed in the 20th century by dancer Guru Gopinath).Meanwhile, koothu is a more light-hearted performance mode, akin to modern stand-up comedy; an  ancient art srcinally confined to temple sanctuaries, it was later popularized by Mani MadhavaChakyar. Other Keralite performing arts include mohiniyaattam ( dance of the enchantress ), which isa type of graceful choreographed dance performed by women and accompanied by musicalvocalizations. Thullal, padayani, and theyyam are other important Keralite arts.Kerala also has several tribal and folk art forms.For example, Kummattikali is the famous colorfulmask-dance of South Malabar, performed during the festival of Onam. The Kannyar Kali dances (alsoknown as Desathukali) are fast moving, militant dances attuned to rhythmic devotional folk songs andasuravadyas. Also important are various performance genres that are Islam- or Christianity-themed.These include oppana, which is widely popular among Keralite Muslims and is native to Malabar.Oppana incorporates group dance accompanied by the beat of rhythmic hand clapping and ishal  vocalizations.However, many of these native art forms largely play to tourists or at youth festivals, and are not as popular among ordinary Keralites. Thus, more contemporary forms — including those heavily basedon the use of often risqué and politically incorrect mimicry and parody — have gained considerablemass appeal in recent years. Indeed, contemporary artists often use such modes to mock socioeconomicelites. In recent decades, Malayalam cinema, yet another mode of widely popular artistic expression,have provided a distinct and indigenous Keralite alternative to both Bollywood and Hollywood. [edit] Music Main article: Music of KeralaPercussive art forms: Chenda melam, Panchari melam and Panchavadyam.The ragas and talas of lyrical and devotional carnatic music — another native product of South India — dominates Keralite classical musical genres. Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, a 19th-century king of Travancore and patron and composer of music, was instrumental in popularising carnatic music in earlyKerala.[3][4] Additionally, Kerala has its own native music system,  sopanam , which is a lugubriousand step-by-step rendition of raga-based songs. It is  sopanam , for example, that provides the background music used in kathakali. The wider traditional music of Kerala also includes melam (including the  paandi and  panchari variants), as style of percussive music performed at temple-centered festivals using an instrument known as the chenda. Up to 150 musicians may comprise theensembles staging a given performance; each performance, in turn, may last up to four hours.  Panchavadyam is a differing type of percussion ensemble consisting of five types of percussioninstruments; these can be utilised by up to one hundred artists in certain major festivals. In addition tothese, percussive music is also associated with various uniquely Keralite folk arts forms. Lastly, the popular music of Kerala — as in the rest of India — is dominated by the filmi music of Indian cinema. [edit] Martial arts and sports Main article: KalaripayattuThe martial art of Kerala, Kalaripayattu.Kerala also has its own indigenous form of martial art — Kalarippayattu, derived from the words kalari( place , threshing floor , or battlefield ) and  payattu ( exercise or practice ). Influenced by bothKerala’s Brahminical past and Ayurvedic medicine, kalaripayattu is attributed by oral tradition toParasurama. After some two centuries of suppression by British colonial authorities, it is nowexperiencing strong comeback among Keralites while also steadily gaining worldwide attention. Other    popular ritual arts include theyyam and poorakkali — these srcinate from northern Malabar, which isthe northernmost part of Kerala. Nevertheless, these have in modern times been largely supplanted bymore popular sports such as cricket, kabaddi, soccer, badminton, and others. Kerala is home of thefootball clubs Viva Kerala and FC Kochin. [edit] Literature Main article: Malayalam literatureMalayalam literature is ancient in srcin, and includes such figures as the 14th century Niranam poets(Madhava Panikkar, Sankara Panikkar and Rama Panikkar), whose works mark the dawn of bothmodern Malayalam language and indigenous Keralite poetry. The Triumvirate of poets (  Kavithrayam :Kumaran Asan,Vallathol Narayana Menon and Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer) are recognized for movingKeralite poetry away from archaic sophistry and metaphysics and towards a more lyrical mode. Later,such contemporary writers as Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy (whose 1996 semi-autobiographical bestseller The God of Small Things is set in the Kottayam town of Ayemenem) have garneredinternational recognition. From 1970 to early 1990s, a lot of Malayalam Novelists and story writerscontributed to the Literature of Kerala. The contributions from OV Vijayan, CV Sriraman, TPadmanabhan, Sethu, Perumbatavam Sreedharan, Kovilan have been remarkable. Significantcontributions from poets and song writers such as P. Bhaskaran and ONV Kurup have influencedcontemporary literature. Critics such as M Krishnan Nair have added value by providing criticalanalysis on the books written during the recent past. [edit] Calendar Main article: Malayalam calendar Kerala also has an indigenous ancient solar calendar — the Malayalam calendar — which is used invarious communities primarily for timing agricultural and religious activities. [edit] Elephants in Kerala culture Main article: Elephants in Kerala cultureCaparisoned elephants during Sree Poornathrayesa temple festival. The Elephants of Kerala are anintegral part of the daily life in Kerala.The elephants are an integral part of the daily life in Kerala. These Indian elephants are given a prestigious place in the state's culture. Elephants in Kerala are often referred to as the 'sons of thesahya '  . The elephant is the state animal of Kerala and is featured on the emblem of the Government of Kerala. [edit] Sarpa Kavu (Sacred Grove of the Serpent) Main article: Sarpa KavuSarpa Kavu at Sakthanthamburan palace, Thrissur Sarpa Kavu (meaning Sacred Grove of the Serpent  ) is a typically small traditional grove of trees seenin the Kerala state of South India. These pristine groves usually have representations of several  Naga Devatas (  serpent gods ), which were worshipped by the joint families or taravads . This was part of   Nagaradhana (snake worship) which was prevalent among keralites during past centuries. It had been practised by Ezhavas, Nairs, Arayas and many other tribal, non-tribal and costal communities all over   Malabar Cost in south India
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