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Malayalee People

Other Spellings / Synonyms : Malayalee, Malayali, Keraleeyan, Keralite

Religion : Hinduism (mostly), Islam, Christianity

Language : Malayalam

Regional Spread : Kerala, Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry

Population : 30 million

Food Habits : Staple food of the Malayalee people is rice. Malayalese living in coastal Kerala consume more sea food, while those living in plains take more vegetables in their regular meals. Tribals and people living in northern part of the state take meat in the main course. Malayalee cuisine is mainly hot and spicy. Chutneys and pickles are used to make the food interesting. Coconut is widely used and is part of almost all dishes prepared in Kerala.

Marriage Preference : Prefer marriages with Keralites of their own religion and caste.
Famous Personalities
  • Saints : Adi Sankara, Amritanandamayi
  • Cartoonists : Abu Abraham, K Shankar Pillai, Toms, Unni
  • Poilitics : A.K. Antony, AKG or AK Gopalan, Dr John Mathai, Dr PC Alexander, EK Nayanar, EMS Namboodiripad, KPS Menon, KR Narayanan (former VP of India), VK Krishna Menon, VS Achuthanandan
  • Movies : Adoor Gopalakrishnan (director), John Abraham (actor), M Night Shyamalan (Hollywood director), Mammootty (actor), Mohanlal (actor), P Padmarajan (director), Shobana (actress).
  • Writer/ Poet : Akkitham Achuthan Namboodiri, Arundhati Roy, Anita Nair, Changampuzha Krishna Pillai, Cherusseri Namboodiri (Mahakavi), Kamala Das, Kumaran Asan (poet), Paul Zacharia, Raja Raja Varma (linguist), Shashi Tharoor, Ulloor (poet)
  • Sports : Anju George (athlete), PT Usha (athlete)
  • Science : Dr KK Damodaran (Nuclear physicist), G Madhavan Nair (Chairman of ISRO)
  • Music : Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar (Carnatic vocalist), Mrinalini Sarabhai (danseuse), Yesudas (singer)
  • Others :
    Raja Ravi Varma - renowned painter
    Captain Dr Lakshmi Sehghal - head of women's wing of INA
    TN Seshan - Tenth Chief Election Commissioner of India
History and Origin : Malayalee people are a diverse race. While most of the Malayalee people are Dravidians like the Tamil people, a large number of Aryans from North India have also settled down in the state of Kerala and have become a part of the population of the state. Also as Kerala was the major trading port in India through which Arab and Syrian traders took Indian spices to Europe, a large number of Arabs and Syrians also settled down in Kerala and have become a part of the racial mosaic of the state. Till the creation of Israel, Kerala had a significant Jewish population too. Kerala hence has a lesser percentage of Dravidian people than the other South Indian state. And its people are typical and can easily be identified as a Keralite, either by looks or accent or name. Malayalese have the highest literacy rate and the highest standard of living among all communities in India.

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