November first is celebrated as Kerala piravi or Kerala day. Kerala Piravi marks the birth of the state of Kerala. The State of Kerala was created on November 1 1956. Long after Indian Independence on 15th August 1947. Beforehand it was three Independence provinces named Malabar, Cochin and Travancore.
Kerala Piravi that in Malayalam means the ‘birth of Kerala’. Social reforms enacted in the late 19th century by Cochin and Travancore were expanded upon by post-independence governments, making Kerala among the Third World’s longest-lived, healthiest, most gender-equitable, and most literate regions.
Kerala is a 560-km long narrow stretch of land. At the widest, Kerala is a mere 120-km from the sea to the mountains. Gracing one side of Kerala, are the lofty mountains ranging high to kiss the sky. And on the other side the blue Arabian Sea waters wash the land. The land is covered with dense tropical forest, fertile plains, beautiful beaches, cliffs, rocky coasts, an intricate maze of backwaters, still bays and an astounding 44 glimmering rivers. Kerala’s exotic spices have lured foreigners to her coast from time immemorial.
Portuguese discovered the sea route to India from Europe when Vasco da gama landed with his ship near Kappad in Calicut in AD 1498. Slowly the Kerala society became a mix of people belonging to various sects of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. The Dutch, the French and finally the British followed the arrival of Portuguese. The State of Kerala was created on the 1st of November 1956. The Keralites celebrate this day as ‘Kerala piravi’ meaning the ‘Birth of Kerala’.
According to the Hindu mythology Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Mahavishnu (The God-Lord), created Kerala. Parasurama flung his “Mazhu” (a weapon) from Kanyakumari (cape comerin) to the sea and the sea receded to create the land Keralam.
Archaeologists believe that the first citizens of Kerala were the hunter-gatherers, the ting Negrito people. These people still inhabit the mountains of southern India today; consequently, they had a good knowledge of herbal medicine and were skilled in interpreting natural phenomena. The next race of people in Kerala was believed to be the Austriches. The Austric people of Kerala are of the same stock as the present-day Australian Aborigines. They were the people who laid the foundation of Indian civilizations and introduced the cultivation of rice and vegetables, which are still part of Kerala scene. They also introduced snake-worship in Kerala.
The modern Kerala is divided into fourteen Districts with Trivandrum as the State Capital. Kerala is the first place in the world where a Communist Ministry came into power by General Election in 1957.
Earlier, Kerala was made up of three distinct areas. Malabar as far up the coast as Tellicherry, Cannanore and Kasargode with the tiny pocket-handkerchief French possession of Mahe nearby (it was returned to India in the early 1950 ’s and is now administratively part of Pondicherry). This area belonged to what was once called the Madras Presidency under the British. The middle section is formed by the princely State of Cochin; the third comprises Travancore, another princely State.
Kerala is truly the undiscovered India. It is God’s own country and an enchantingly beautiful, emerald-green sliver of land. It is a tropical paradise far from the tourist trial at the southwestern peninsular tip, sandwiched between the tall mountains and the deep sea. Kerala is a long stretch of enchanting greenery.
On this day state-wide celebrations are held under various organizations. Most of the Keralites wear Kerala dress, Kasavu Mundu and Neryathu, on this occasion.
Centuries to live KERALAM, KERALITES, KERALA'S RELIGIOUS HARMONY & KERALA LITERATURE
Wishing every Keralites a happy Kerala Piravi.