Every culture has their own stereotypes that its members find offensive. For instance, Punjabis don’t do ‘balle balle’ every time they’re happy or meet someone, neither do their brains work only after midnight (Manmohan Singh can attest to that). But there are a few things stereotypes about us Malayalis that are true to a large extent:
- Kuda :
The Kuda which translates into umbrella in English is a must in every Malayali household. In fact, it is the duty of every wife/mother to remind the men of the house to carry their umbrella before leaving the house. And they have to follow this ritual even if there are no signs of rain.
There’s a reason why our kudas are so important for us. The weather of Kerala is such that it rains for almost half of the year. And when it chooses to bless us with its presence, it’s never in the form of a drizzle. It’s always a downpour!
- Discussions About the Gelf:
Every Malayali that you meet either works in the ‘Gelf’ or has a relative or friend who works there. In fact, it would be safe to assume that Malayalam is the second language in Middle East countries.
- Thattu Kadas:
Thattu kadas are our version of the typical Punjabi dhabas found commonly in the North. From steaming hot idlis to hot doshas (dosas are what the rest of the country calls them), appams and puttu, every breakfast item can be found in these shops. Some usually open before sunrise to accommodate the lorry drivers who’re probably weary of the night travel.
- ‘Hartals’ or strikes can happen at the drop of a hat:
When in Kerala, never make a plan without consulting the Communist sakha (comrade) in your neighborhood. With more than a hundred hartals happening annually, Kerala is probably the only state where you can be sure that a strike called by any political party will be a hit.