God’s own country celebrates its 61st formation day on Wednesday and was recently called as the ‘global face of India’ by President Ram Nath Kovind, but that doesn’t adequately grasp all that you need to know about the state. Here are ten things you should know about the state and its people.
1. First state in the country to impose a ‘fat tax’
The ruling Left Democratic Front government presented a first of its kind 'fat tax' on burgers, pizzas, doughnuts, tacos etc., which were served in branded fast-food restaurants in the state.
2. Third fully electrified state in the country
The state was declared as 'fully' electrified state on May 29. Kerala spent Rs 174 crore for the total electrification project. Out of this, Rs 37.34 crore was spent from the asset development fund of MLAs. It followed Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh in the achievement.
3. First state to formally employ transgender persons
Twenty-three transgender persons were employed by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL). It was said to be the first time that transgender persons were formally appointed by a government-owned entity.
In 2015, Kerala became the first state to unveil a state policy for transgender persons at the International Conference on Gender Equality in Kovalam.
Kerala boasts of a splendid range of food, and reaffirms its tastes even when it comes to foods that have come to be considered as ‘anti-national’. Beef fests were conducted across the state following the Union Government's notification to ban cow slaughter. Keralites love their puttu and kadala curry, idiyappam with egg curry, appam with stew, dosa with sambar and chicken, beef and mutton in all their forms.
Image: Simile Krishnakumar Wikimedia Commons
Seafood occupies a large part of Kerala’s wide range of recipes, which include mussels, crab and prawns.
5. Third state in India to be open-defecation free
The state was declared to be open defecation free after it built 1.75 lakh toilets in the state. The only other states to do so before Kerala are Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh.
6. The first-ever Communist government in the world
It was in Kerala that the first ever democratically elected Communist government in the world came to power. Communist leader EM Sankaran Namboodiripad, popularly known as EMS, was sworn in as Chief Minister on April 5, 1957. Recently, Washington Post dedicated most of its front page to it, and called Kerala as “one of the few places on earth where a communist can still dream.”
7. First state to achieve total primary education
In January 2016, the then Vice-President Hamid Ansari declared Kerala as the first Indian state to achieve complete primary education.
Image: Fabrice Florin Wikimedia Commons
Regardless of whether it is PM Modi or tennis player Maria Sharapova, Malayali netizens aren’t ones to spare anyone. They are prompt to troll and make memes whenever the state is being criticized by someone without basis.
9. Attukal Pongala, the biggest congregation of women in the world
Every year, on a date that falls in February or March, lakhs of women from across the state gather at Thiruvananthapuram to offer Pongala for the goddess of the Attukal Temple goddess. It made to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009 for being the largest gathering of women on a single day. 2.5 million people took part in it.
Image: Maheshsudhakar Wikimedia Commons
10. Martial arts
Kalaripayattu is regarded as one of the oldest forms of martial arts. Feats like chaattom (jumping), ottam (running), marichil (somersault) are taught, which are followed by lessons involving daggers, swords, spears, maces, bow and arrow etc.