Most techies have not forgotten the significance of Kerala Piravi and say they will be going to work in ethnic wear today

Today is Kerala Piravi and Malayalis across the world will mark the 57th anniversary of the formation of the state of Kerala. In Technopark, which is more or less a beacon for new-age Malayali enterprise and entrepreneurship, the event has not been forgotten and it is all set to be celebrated – with oomphs of style, if not anything else.

While there may not be huge celebrations on the scale with which Onam is celebrated, many techies will be coming to work dressed in traditional Kerala wear – mundu-neriyathu or Kerala sari for the women and dhoti for the men. Given that this year November 1 falls on a Friday – in techie terms, dress code relaxation day – it’s added impetus to dress up for the occasion. In fact, we hear that some companies have actually sent out circulars to their employees, encouraging them to turn up for work in ethnic wear, or if not, many companies, they say, will turn a blind eye if their employees (the women, not so much the men) do the same.

Archana V.R., who works at IBS and calls herself a true blue Malayali, says: “In college (Sarabhai College of Engineering), we used to look on with envy as our teachers came in their ethnic wear best on Kerala Piravi, while we had to stick to uniforms. We students would all show solidarity by wearing jasmine on our hair. Last year was my first Kerala Piravi in Technopark and I decked myself up in style in a traditional sari. This year too I am planning the same.”

Her friend and colleague Anu Murali adds: “It is a day that every Malayali needs to celebrate. Last year, Technopark was a sea of cream and gold on Kerala Piravi, with women dressed to the nines in traditional wear. This year too it will be the same, I feel. My friends and I will be dressing up for sure.” For R. Anish, a Malayali who grew up in Chennai, this will be his second ever Kerala Piravi. “Until I came to Technopark last year, I didn’t know anything about Kerala Piravi. I was quite curious when I saw everyone dressed in ethnic garb. Then my wife, Uthara, told me about the significance of the event. I read up on it and decided that henceforth I too will wear mundu-shirt for the occassion. It’s a nice way of showing respect to the State. Such traditions should be kept alive,” says Anish, a human resources executive at RR Donnelley. His colleague R. Sindhu adds: “We’ve been given an option to dress in Kerala saris and going by the buzz in the office, I have a feeling that there is going to be a best dressed contest on the day!”

In SunTec Business Solutions, meanwhile, a full on celebration, ‘Keralotsavam’ has been arranged. “Every year we try and do something for Kerala Piravi. Besides giving employees the option to dress in traditional wear, this year we have arranged a few fun games. One interesting game is one that judges an employee’s command of Malayalam language. We have also planned a surprise quiz contest, for which we will be going to different bays and asking people questions about Kerala, starting with the significance of Kerala Piravi itself,” says Malini, an HR executive with the company.

Then there are others who would like to see Technopark embracing Malayalam and Malayali culture a bit more. “Save for the signboards in a few of the older buildings, no other signage is available in Malayalam, which I feel is a faux pas. Would this happen in any other State?” asks a techie and keen blogger.