1. Cuisine – Food of Kerala
The food of Kerala consists of a wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. The food consists of fish, meat, poultry and rice preparations. Kerala food is loaded with many spices as well. Kerala Sadya is a banquet meal prepared during functions and festivals. Coconut is grown in abundance in Kerala. Hence they use coconut oil and milk in thickening flavors. Kerala food consists of many rice preparations like idli, dosa, etc. which are made from a batter prepared from rice. Chilies, curry leaves, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, and asafoetida, are all frequently used.
2. Clothing and Traditional Dresses of Kerala
Women of Kerala wear sarees and blouses. During festivals, they wear set sarees called Kasavu. Men wear ‘mundu’ which is a long piece of a garment wrapped around their waist in a certain manner. Mundu, an integral part of Kerala Culture is similar to a lungi and a dhoti. Younger generations mostly wear western clothing. However, lungis are still very common for casual occasions whereas sarees are worn for formal occasions.
3. Architecture of Kerala
The architecture of Kerala is unique and quite a contrast to the Dravidian style of architecture commonly found in other parts of the south. Kerala architecture is heavily based on and influenced by architectural sciences like Vastu Shastra, and the temples are built on the basis of two construction thesis, Tantra-Samuchayam, and Sliparatnam which allow positive energy to flow inside the temple and do not retain any negative energy. The structure of any residential or religious center usually consists of a rectangular or cylindrical structure at the bottom with downward-sloping roofs at the top.
4. Folk Dance and Music
The folk dance of Kerala consists of the Kaikotti Kali dance, Kuthiyottam dance, Tiruvathira Dance, Thirayattam dance, Kakkarissi Kali, etc. Kanniyar Kali (also known as Desathukali) is a dance done in front of Goddess Bhagavatam. It is one of the oldest folk dances. It is a fast-moving dance to the rhythmic devotional folk tune. Kaikotti Kali folk dance (also known, as Thiruvathirakali) is performed by women of Kerala by dancing in symmetric circles. It is often performed during festive seasons like Thiruvathira and Onam.
Women sing Thiruvathira songs, which are full of literary wealth. The women dance gracefully and move in clockwise and anti-clockwise circles while clapping their hands. Kuthiyottam Dance is popular in the district of Thiruvananthapuram and is performed in temples in front of deities. There are 4 participants in the dance. The songs sung during the dance are Padapattu and Kalaripattu. Thirayattom dance is performed during the festival of kavus. The dance includes the use of torches. The Kauravas folk from the Thiruvananthapuram district perform the Kakkarissi Kali. This dance involves a lot of enthusiasm from its participants.
Music: Music forms a major part of Malayalam literature. Kerala is known for Sopana Sangeetham and Carnatic music. Sopana (meaning ‘holy steps’) Sangeetham is a form of classical music that involved folks singing invocatory songs inside the temples. Kerala is also known for its Kathakali music.
5. Art and Craft in Kerala
Kerala is famous for its Art. Some of the arts revolve around Chinese ceramics, brass-inlay, caskets, teapots, tin candle stands, bells and lamps, etc. Keralite jewelry is also unique in its design and is mostly made up of gold. The necklace of the woman is long and consists of a thick base chain to which elongated series of gold pieces are attached. The gold pieces attached may be petal-like or mango shaped or any other shape. People also purchase Mundus from Kerala.