Local traditions and culture in State of Kerala

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Most Viewed Local Customs in State of Kerala

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    Attukal Ponkala

    by Justin_goa Updated Apr 4, 2011

    This ritual is very important in town. The area around the temple within a radius of about 2kms will be totally occupied by local women, setting up cooking facility, cooking rice and jaggery as an offering to the goddess. This is practiced by women to get the blessing for the family. Think about ten thousands of women occupying the main street, pavements, local households, open areas, gardens ... it's a spectacle event. men are not allowed anywhere near this area, unless part of social organizations usually help these women with drinking water and transport arrangements.
    The priest does his rituals inside the temple and sprinkles water over the offering cooked by these women from helicopter!!
    This ritual falls on a specific date according to malayalam calender. Usually between Feb and Mar every year.

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    East Fort area - Trivandrum City

    by Justin_goa Updated Apr 4, 2011

    East fort got its name from the eastern entrance to the fort built by the Kings of Travancore. The old city was all inside the fort on four sides with the Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple at the center. It is said that there were huge metal gates on this entrance to the Fort which was decorated with the symbol of a conch, which was the isignia of the Royal Family of Travancore.

    Sri Padmanabha swami temple is situtated inside this fort. Kuthiramalika Palace museum, built by His Highness Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, Maharaja of erstwhile Travancore.

    Gandhi Park is situated in front of the fort, which is famous for hosting socio-politico gatherings. Gandhi Park has been completely remodelled with modern urban landscaping, and is a popular spot for a relaxing stroll or time-out. The Gandhi Park provides a maginificient view of the entrance to the East Fort which is lit up.

    The Ganesha temple, Pazhavangadi Ganapathi Temple, is also situated at the East Fort.

    It is from the East Fort that one enters the Chalai Bazaar (Market), which was the main business center of Travancore. Gold, Flowers, Iron and Steel, Fruits and Vegetables to Cars and Computers, this is one spot where you get everything. The central road is over 2 km long.

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    Ayurveda-The way of life to better health

    by Justin_goa Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    AYURVEDA

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    Ayurveda is a branch (Upaveda) of Atharvana Veda which deals with natural curing of diseases, including chronic. As the name 'Ayuh' suggests it denotes the lifetime of a man and suggests remedies to increase his span of it. It is our ancestral treasure and the oldest existing health care and is a heritage of India.

    We Indians ought to be proud of this Ayurveda which dates back to thousands of years ago when even script or means of publication were not invented. India is a land of sages which is rich in treasures of innumerable varieties of wonderful herbs.

    The Vedic Rishis used to depend on fruits and natural vegetation. Their power, wisdom, knowledge of nature and personal experiences led to the invention of Ayurveda. The Bharatiya Rishis of yore viewed the miracles of herbs and passed it on to future generations as Ayurveda. Recognising the medicinal properties of natural vegetations, our Acharyas propounded detailed principles in Ayurveda which are proving irrefutable in this advanced age of science.

    In the history of Ayurveda, there is mention of two brothers, Ashwani Kumars, who were experts in the science of herbs and who rejuvenated Chyavan Rishi, joined the cut-pieces of Daksh-Prajapati's head, cured King Chandra of phthisis and rendered medical aid to persons wounded in war with the help of only herbs. There are innumerable examples of curing the diseases only by seeing and touching herbs. Cases where scientific medicines proved worth fail, these Ayurvedic medicines and indigenous herbs succeed admirably well in saving human lives.

    The mythological anatomy, which is furnished in Ayurveda, is provided here. Medical recommendations for ailments and specific queries are covered in this Ayurveda service.

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    YOGA- a perfect system for body, mind & soul

    by Justin_goa Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Everybody wants to have better health, without diseases. Though peoples are taking precautionary measures, sometimes they get and suffer from diseases. City life has become more conjusted and unhygienic.
    In these circumstances, Asanas help you to keep your health and mental alertness in good condition.
    The Asanas (a few important Physical postures) very important and practicable by all types of practitioners. Kunjal, Neti, Dhoti etc., the exercises for the purification of the nerves, innersystem - digestive, respiratory and secretory etc. are clear portraits of a Yogi. Through a few important exercises of deep breathing (Pranayama) purification and balancing of the vital forces and mind can be accomplished.

    Yoga should be practised by each and every individual according to their own capacity and temperament, under the personal guidance of an experienced yogi Guru.

    The yoga (unification and communication with one's ownself) is an utmost necessity of life. Yoga practice, if adopting which one can fulfill one's daily duties well and following the same, attain the perfection (the Ultimate End) of life. The practice of Yoga brings the busy, bewildered, puzzled man to a path of stability, worrylessness, divinity, freedom and perfection.

    Yoga is the most perfect system. The brain, the muscles, the nerves, all the different organs and the tissues are toned up and energised. all chronic diseases are rooted out by performing the Yogic Asanas. Regular practice of Yogic exercises or Yoga Asanas even for fifteen minutes a day will keep the Sadhaka quite fit and soon make them hale and hearty. The practitioner will have abundant energy, muscular strength and nerve power, a charming personality and will live long.

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    secret is in the eyes

    by kat-m Written Mar 7, 2011

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    Kathakali performance is a traditional keralan mime act. The show started with the performers sitting on stage putting on their make up, then an introduction is given and explanation of what is going on. The performers do not speak but communicate through facial expressions and in particular the eyes. The audience were given a fact sheet so we would know what the story was about. After making up the guys then dressed in costumes and the show began. It was very good and enjoyed by all.

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    Fishing kerala style

    by kat-m Written Mar 7, 2011

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    The fishermen on the beaches of kerala are very hard working and traditional. The nets were put far out to sea and slowly hauled in. The 2 groups of fishermen would start off about 3 hundred metres apart and as the net came closer to the shore they would be feet apart, They sang whilst they were pulling the nets in and as it came near the beach 1or 2 of them ran in the sea and splashed and shouted at the fish to stop them escaping from the net, thats the idea anyway I dont know if it actually works. It was fascinating to watch and hubby helped out a couple of times. When the net is finally landed it always ends in a big arguement as the men fight for their share.

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    Remove your shoes

    by ajayzener Written Jan 12, 2007

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    In kerala before entering a religious place, it is expected that you remove your footwear. There would be vendors who would keep your footwear in safe custody till you return for a fee of Rs.2 /- . Even when visiting someone's home it is better to ask the person whether you need to remove your shoes before entering. It is more due to the climate of kerala ( Rains) that people insist on doing so, so as to keep their premises clean. The religious places consider the footwear unhygienic.

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    floral patterns 'athappookkalam'

    by 6aruna Written Sep 7, 2006

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    During Onam keralites pay homage to Mahabali by creating a small floral pattern on the floor.The base is prepared using mud and cow dung on which flowers are stuck .the flowers are changed every day and on the tenth day 'thiruvonam' there is usually a grand feast, traditional dances ,traditional games . After a short prayer and offering of rice dessert the decorations are dug out.

    elaborate floral patterns are made only in front of institutions and during competitions.

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    yes it is christian

    by wwroam Written Jul 21, 2006

    These little chapels may be found elsewhere in India where there is a Christian community, but it was in Ernakulum that I found this one. The images are Christian but the garlands and offerings are Hindu.

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    School pens!!!!

    by suvanki Updated Jan 31, 2006

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    Whenever you encounter school age children around the resorts and sights, it won't be long before you hear the words/request : "school pens"? and you'll soon be surrounded by a crowd, with outstretched hands and hopeful faces!

    Although Kerala can boast nearly 100% literacy in its young adults, it still remains one of the poorest states in India.

    Education/ literacy has been an important part of the Keralan culture for centuries, believing that this was a way of imparting dignified behaviour, respect and cultural traits.

    Educated Keralans also helped to promote a democratic state, and played an important role in the gaining of independence.

    However, the practice of having large families, with a low income, resulted in high truancy, as children were required to help on the land, or look after their younger siblings.
    The introduction of free school meals, led to an increase in attendance, and education now has high importance in Kerala.

    Writing skills are highly valued, so this is why there is the need for pens/ exercise books etc.

    If you don't have pens, some of the children will ask for money. Probably best to use your own judgement here!!

    It was my first visit to India, and I came unprepared, but a couple of friends I made on The Spice Tour had bought boxes of pens, and gave me some to distribute.

    The Manos reps in Kovalam pay regular visits to the local orphanage, and will take your donations of pens/ books/ money etc.

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    Wear Saree

    by ushar Written Dec 8, 2004

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    Ladies,
    You will have to wear a saree\setumundu veshti , if you are planning to visit those famous temples like Sreepadmanabha Temple, Guruvayoor Temple etc..
    The pic shows,
    One lady in Saree,
    Another in Set mundu (Veshti neryathu)
    The man in Veshti and Melmundu

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    Say Namaste

    by ushar Written Dec 8, 2004

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    When You are planning to visit a temple in Kerala you must carry a 'Veshti" ( Dhoti in Hindi) with you , since some Temples in Kerala wont allow you to go inside with a Jeans\Trousers etc..
    One more thing is that you will have to remove your shirt when you enter a temple in Kerala.
    In kerala peple always prefer a Namaste than a shakehand , especially the locals.

    Ladies, you will have to wear a saree\setumundu veshti if you are planning to visit those famous temples like Sreepadmanabha Temple, Guruvayoor Temple etc..

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    Alcohol......Under cover drinking!

    by suvanki Updated Nov 11, 2004

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    The laws on alcohol consumption in Kerala can be a bit confusing at times. Officially it's not to be consumed in public places, or places not designated for drinking! think this means bars...

    Some places have put a ban on alcohol, due to accidents, such as drowning after consumption of...

    In Kovalams bars and restaurants beer is served, but often disguised in teapots with pot mugs, or bottles of Kingfisher are wrapped in newspaper.

    Cocktails may be listed on menus with non alcoholic ingredients, but the waiter will ask if you want gin, bacardi, vodka etc adding !

    Festival days etc may result in non sale of alcohol at hotels etc, around Kerala, but if you offer to pay by cash and take it (hidden) to consume in your room, this may be allowed.

    Kovalam and Munnar have govt outlets for sale of alcohol, with local and international brands (see my Munnar/Kovalam tips for more info)
    If you have a favourite spirit, it may be best to buy from your departure airport, or Bahrain etc
    Cheers!!!

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    Hygiene

    by alycat Written Aug 30, 2003

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    There might be many things that would not be to ur liking, for example things about general civic sense and food habits, dont act snooty and dont crib about the way the locals behave or live, cos this is how life started, this is the way it was supposed to be, before ur commodes, table manners and etiquttes came into place. This is natural, if ur very particular about cleaniness and all things prim n propah, go find some other place to holiday. And by this i dont mean to demean or run down people here or kerala in general, my liking for this place is evident in all my kerala pages. Maybe even u would say the same things once ur here.

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    Elephant Bell and hair

    by herzog63 Written Jun 26, 2003

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    Before I got to ride this guy I didn't realize that elephants had hair! LOL Seems funny that I didn't know that. But I thought they just had really thick skin. Their hair is very prickly too. I loved the sound of the bell as we rambled along through the forest/jungle on my ride.

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