One of the top ten Asian destinations,God's own country or Kerala takes the pride of place for its repertoire of rich cultural heritage. Kerala holds a place of honour for its contribution to the cultural heritage.Kerala's culture is in fact, an integral part of Indian culture.
The culture of Kerala is also a composite and cosmopolitan culture to which several people and races have made their significant contributions. Kerala's population comprises of a large number of people originally belonging to the Dravidian clan, who also inhibit most of the southern part of Hinduism is the principal religion with considerable percentages of Muslims and Christians. The gradual evolution of a cosmopolitan culture led to the emergence of a spirit of tolerance and catholicity of outlook, which still persist among the people of Kerala.The tradition and culture of the native people is especially charming in Kerala.
The cultural heritage of Kerala is also revealed in its varied dance forms, martial arts and cuisine. Kathakali is a 300-year-old dance form developed exclusively in Kerala combining the performing art forms of opera, ballet, and pantomime. Other dance forms of Kerala are Krishnanattom, Mohiniyattom, Thullal, Koodiyattom, Kolkali,Teyyam, Thiruvathirakali, Kakkarishi Natakom, Oppana and Chavittunatakom. The percussion ensemble of Panchavadyam,Thayambaka,Pancharimelam and Sinkarimelam are also popular.Kathakali sangeetham besides Sopanasangeetham and Nadanpattu as wellas other music forms have evolved over the centuries in Kerala.
Kerala is renowned for its varied martial arts. Amongst the many forms of martial arts of Kerala are Kalaripayattu, Parisa Kali, Velakanni, Valeru,Moopankali, Kundameru and Njaninmel Kali. Woodcarving is an important craft form that this state has developed. The craftsmen of Kerala can pick up the humblest and meanest bits of material and imbue them with magical mastery.
Onam is a time for sports and festivities in Kerala, where one third of the area is low lying, covered with canals, lakes and backwaters,and the people take to their boats and country crafts to celebrate.Vishu is the harvest festival.Christmas is another festival that is celebrated with much vigour and enthusiasm in the state. Other important festivals of Kerala are Eid, Muharram,Ramzan, and other festivals such as Deepavali and Navarathri that are traditionally celebrated all over the country.
Kerala’s unique culture provides scope for the fusion of old traditions and new values in all speres.This is evident in its cuisine too.Kerala has a distinctive cuisine, very unusual and different from the rest of . Cooking in Kerala is all about discoveries, aromas and colors and Kerala delicacies are popular throughout the world.The cuisine of Kerala has been proved to be a delight among tourists especially foreigners.
While music and dance provide food for the soul, the actual "food" of Kerala is a sumptuous treat to anyone who visits Kerala. The delectable cuisine has a wide range to choose from. The staple diet of Kerala is rice.On festival days one gets a taste of the traditional "sadya" or the feast. There is much in store for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The vegetarians get to choose from a variety of steamed and fried treats, while the non-vegetarians get to feast on sea food such as fish and prawns besides meat varieties.
Kerala is also famous for its handicrafts and art work. Works of art as souvenirs are available in plenty for tourists to take back home as remainders of God’s Own Country.
Thus, Kerala culture represents the collective achievements of the people of the state in the fields of religion and philosophy, language and literature, art and architecture, education and learning,sports and culinary arts and much more.