The more I used to hang out with my best friend who is a Malayali the more I wondered as to why Bengalis and Malayalis are so profoundly similar despite belonging to states separated by vast geographical areas!
It is a well-known fact that many South Indians and North and East Indians do not get along that well, thanks to their completely different cultures, their liking (or dislike) for the ‘Hindi’ language and the immense contrast in their appearances. However, when it comes to the Bengalis and Malayalis the situation is the complete opposite!
And then I realized that there are certain traits that are shared by both these communities and that’s not just due to some coincidence but because of things deeper than that.
So let me list out a few things which are common to both Bengalis and Malayalis and you can figure out if they are true or not!
#1. Their Loyalty towards Communism/Left
There’s absolutely no doubt in the fact that popularly there are two states in India with a profound affiliation towards Leftist politics or let’s just say communism. Both Bengal and Kerala share a very similar political ideology and both have always favoured communism over any other.
In Bengal, the Left Front was in power from 1977 to 2011 before Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress took over – the Indian record for the longest period of governance is held by the Leftist government in Bengal.
Kerala is not much far behind here: there are specifically two major political alliances in this state both of which has roots in communism – the United Democratic Front (UDF) which is a coalition of centrist and centre-leftist parties and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) which is the coalition of left-wing and far-left parties.
So now it is clear that both Bengalis and Malayalis are indeed hard-core communists! Moreover, no community is as deeply indulged in politics as these two!
#2. Big foodies with Fish being their Super Favourite!
Fish!!! Aaah… this is the strongest bond there ever has been between the Bengalis and Malayalis!
Simply put: Bongs and Mallus CAN NOT imagine even a single meal of their day without the sumptuous taste of a well-cooked fish tender touching their tongues. Just thinking about Rohu and Katla fishes brings a riot in both of these communities’ mouths!
The main reason for their love for eating fish and rice could be attributed to their close proximity to the waters making fishing the main occupation of many Bengali and Kerala villages.
Nothing beats fish!
#3. Cheers to the Extremely Talented Artists from the East and The South
Another point of unification for Bengalis and Malayalis is their shared presence in the theatre world. It is a well-known fact that both Bengal and Kerala indulge in different aspects of arts be it Rabindra Sangeet in the East to Carnatic music in the South; to Chauu Dance in Bengal to Kathakali in Kerala.
Not only this, my friends, but extremely successful actors and music composers hail from these two states making a significant contribution to their respective industries including famous personalities like Manna Dey, Satyajit Ray, Kishor Kumar from West Bengal and K.J. Yesudas, Mammootty and many more hailing from Kerala.
Do we need to say more?
#4. Eating With Hands is Mandatory!
While making use of your fingers while eating food, especially rice might be looked at with an expression of pure contempt and disgust by most communities, the thought of eating with hands brings a huge smile to the faces of every Bengali and Malayali. This is another thing that plays a huge role in bringing these two communities together.
Are you seeing the connection here: both love fish and rice which they like to eat with their hands!
#5 Readers Galore
Bengalis and Malayalis, out of all the people, love their literature and are extremely proud of it. Evident by the literacy rate in Kerala is the fact that Mallus absolutely love to indulge in reading and then debating about events happening around them.
And guess what? Same is the case with Bongs. Bengalis are known to be extremely opinionated folks thanks to their habit of reading a plethora of books from authors whose names they can’t even pronounce sometimes and this is a thing that binds Bengalis and Malayalis closer together!
Above points might make it pretty clear now that there is no doubt in the similarity in culture, literature, and practices followed by these two communities.
From their love for football over cricket to their similar ideologies to food do make them two sisters born from the same mother who got separated by birth and if you belong to either of the communities, you might now want to find a friend from the other side to give you company!
Images Source: Google Images