Friday, 28 August 2015

Via Kerala

Minarets and spires, cottages and caves, monkeys and rakshasas, losing the way while finding yourself, discovering Kerala, truly GOD'S own country.

This was my first impression of Kerala on my very first visit, a few years ago. The trip, although a very short one, most of which was spent on the road (we lost our way more than once and had a tough time finding the way back to our resort),  left me yearning to experience more of the cuisine, culture and coastal charm of Kerala. I have visited Wayanad several times since then but always for short weekend getaways. There is so much of this state that I haven’t yet seen but hope to explore  to my heart’s content, some day.

Kerala, as most of you probably already know has the highest literacy rate, highest life expectancy and highest sex ratio in the country. But did you know that it also has the lowest positive population growth rate in India? Most of Kerala follows a matrillineal system of inheritance called Marumakkathayam. In the Marumakkathayam system, descent and succession to the property is traced through females. The mother forms the stock of descent and kinship and the rights to property is traced through female members of the family. However, what is most evident about this progressive state is the manner in which the Hindu, Muslim and Christian population harmoniously coexist. 

So, what better day than today to showcase a brand that aims to capture the true essence of the Malayalee culture. One that is steeped in karimeen, coconut oil and communism. 

Viakerala is symbolic of contemporary Malayalam visual culture. Their products range from local awareness, Malayalam letter form design application and various other quirky interpretations of traditional Kerala motifs. All this translates into various contemporary products for everyday life such as handcrafted bags, toys, stationary items etc

Viakerala was started as a collaborative forum in 2010, led by a small group of designers in Cochin. It is a collection of the work of artists, illustrators and graphic designers and has now evolved into a platform for the modern Malayalee and also anybody interested in Kerala, Malayalam and local culture.

You can buy Viakerala products here.

Happy Onam! Onashamsakal!