Kerala Council for Historical Research brings out a compilation of Malayalam proverbs

How many proverbs would you find in Malayalam? Would you believe that the number is actually above 20,000? Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) puts the number at 20,345! The soon-to-be-released encyclopaedia of Malayalam proverbs, Keralathile Pazhamchollukal, by KCHR is something to be treasured by Malayalis who keep the language and culture close to their heart.

“The compilation happened because of Malayalis across the world. We had put out an announcement requesting people to send in the proverbs they knew and 333 people from across the globe have made this book possible,” says P.J. Cherian, director, KCHR. He makes special note of a contributor from Berlin. “She left Kerala when she was 11 and is now in her 60s. A medical practitioner by profession, she gave 23 proverbs, all of which were taught to her by her grandmother. She said, they were close to her heart. When she came down to Kerala with her husband, she even came over to the KCHR office to know more about the project. There have been umpteen such fascinating and touching experiences,” Cherian says.

KCHR had actually collected over 80,000 proverbs from contributors. “There was a lot of duplication and after a thorough scrutiny we brought down the number to 20,345. We are not saying that it is the final figure. This is an ongoing project. Once the book is out, in a year or so we will upload the same on the Internet. People can point out the corrections and can make additions as well,” he adds. The proverbs have been divided into 24 groups, based on subjects. “It was a difficult task. There might be overlapping since the same proverb has got many variations,” he says.

The book will be for sale after its release by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy later this month. It is priced at Rs.750 (the discounted price is Rs.450). If you buy more than five copies, each book will cost Rs.400. If you want the book to be couriered to you (within India), you need to pay an additional Rs. 75. The first 600 people who place their orders will get the book by Onam and the rest will get it within two months.

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