A get-together for Malayalees

A piece of entertainment.

A piece of entertainment.  

TALKING ABOUT Madurai, the first and foremost thing that would occur to anybody's mind is its fame as the cradle of Tamil literature and culture.

This city, of course, deserves such a description, by virtue of being etched with indelible oriental manifestations. Still, there are some hitherto underemphasised factors that, though unnoticed, add stature to the Temple city.

The fact that the district has been considered the natural home for the Yadava and Sourastrian communities for generations is something that is quite apparent. Needless to say, their ways of life have synthesised with the Tamil culture.

But seldom has the large presence of the Malayalees and Telugu speaking citizens come to light. It is against this backdrop that the recent meeting of the Madurai Malayalee Samajam (MMS) caused a pleasant surprise.

The city, with its less than ten kilometre radius, is also the home for 2,000 Malayalee families. The Samajam, which was started in 1956, now has M. Ramesh, Regional Manager, Kerala Transport Corporation, as its president.

A recent get-together organised by MMS, to mark the celebration of Onam, at a hotel in the city, witnessed an enthusiastic participation of Malayalees, whose spirits were further heightened by the performance of a cultural troupe from Thodupuzha in Idukki district of Kerala. To preserve the pristine of the language, the upcoming generation of Malayalee children studying in the various Tamil medium and English medium schools are taught about the script of the mother tongue by the elders.

To facilitate the interaction among the Malayalees here, the Samajam has embarked on an effort to provide the members with a directory containing addresses and phone numbers of the members.

By Krishnamoorthy R.

Photo: S. James.

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