Malayalam Literature

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Published: 22nd September 2008
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Malayalam is a language spoken by nearly ninety percent of people who reside in the state of Kerala in India. Closely tied to the Dravidian family of languages, this thousand year old mother tongue of nearly thirty million Malayalis, has received tremendous influences from abroad leaving its mark on Malayalam literature as well. With borrowed elements from Sanskrit, Arabic and English, Malayalam literature can truly be seen as universal in nature.

With historical evidence and accuracy lacking to back up different compositions, legends and folklore have taken precedence over chronological facts. Malayalam literary works are often closely tied to the earth and its surroundings. Occupations like agriculture and farming gave birth to literary wonders which were simple in style and focused on the trials and hardships of everyday lives of farm labourers while others literary works focused on religious rituals. With the invasion of the Aryan race, these folk rituals were modified in imagery and themes making them appear quite different from their original appearance.

Folk songs were often composed and sung based on a person's vocation, such as the 'Pulayas' who earned their livelihood by working on the soil throughout the year. Like other religions that have religious and social folklore, Malayalam literature also consists of many songs associated for all events of a person's life. The famous Vatakkan Pattukal (ballads of the north) and Thekkan Pattukal (ballads of the south) deal with stories and themes varying from non-religious folklore to expressions of grief. Folk poetry compared to the poetry of the elite shows greater energy and dynamism. The rhythm is the main feature of Kerala's musical culture. Some folk songs which have left a lasting impact on the minds of the Malayalee include the Mappila Pattukal (Moplah songs) and the Idanadan Patt.

Ramacharitam is a poetic expression of the Ramayana written in the 12th century and is considered to be the oldest literary work in Malayalam. Since Sanskrit left a lasting impact on Malayalam literature, it resulted in a unique literary language known as Manipravalm. Compositions from a 14th century book brought about two literary styles, 'Sandesha Kavyas' and 'Champus'. Ezhuthachan is the strongest and most vibrant personality to emerge from the 16th century with historical works such as Adhyatma Ramayanam', 'Bharatham' and 'Bhagavatham' to his credit. The 'Attakatha' is popularly known as the 'Kathakali'. Another mass appealing Malayalam art form is 'Thullal' whose creator is Kunchan Nambiyar. With western missionaries arriving in the 19th century and translating the Bible to Malayalam, this led to more different expressions in writing styles.

So, if Malayalam songs is what you are looking for? You can check this link for the latest in Malayalam songs. You can also download Hindi movies and listen to Marathi songs from these links.

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