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!

Bengalis and Malayalis Bengalis and Malayalis

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.

Bengalis and Malayalis
Both communities are political enthusiasts

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!

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#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!

Bengalis and Malayalis

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.

Bengalis and Malayalis
The Chau Dance of Bengal
Bengalis and Malayalis
Kathakali dance of 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.

Bengalis and Malayalis Bengalis and Malayalis

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!

Sources: Youth Ki Awaaz, First Post, Wikipedia, The Telegraph

Images Source: Google Images

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    And the passion of football for both states are same.
    Once the superstar footballer before Bhutia is hails from Kerala, he is simple auto driver proved his skills and selected for the Kerala Police Team (A DIG noticed his ability and recruit I M Vijayan with special permission because he never go to school in his whole life) after that he continuous broke many records in the Indian Football History. but due to his shy nature towards the media and being a non Hindi speaker and poor in English makes him Non Celebrity and slowly everyone forgets him. While Bhutia is fluent in English and he manage all the media attention towards his peak time.
    I M Vijayan is known as black pearl of Indian Football and he played many matches from Mohan Bagan that’s why still Bongs Football Lover still remember him and when Senior I M Vijayan played as a center back with young Bhutia then Bhutia is always a high scorer in those match.

    2. TYPICAL HUMIDITY CLIMATE in both states are common…..

    3. WOMEN POWER IN EVERY FIELD for both states are common…..

    4. Too Cultural and still believing in the old pattern of worshiping God….. I think its never has been changed.

    5. Both State have deeply influence with Communism and Leftism but not that type of Communism like Karl Marx, Stalin & Mao Zindang (Russia, China, Chile etc) because Bongs and Mallu are very true Believer of God’s Existence and Believe that God is Creator of Man, Earth and the Universe. So how can some one say that they both believe in pure communism and that’s why russia, china aur any communism country never ever try to relate W Bengal and Kerala because they all know that they just follow some of the part of communism which is necessary for their country not the whole concept. Bongs and Mallu are that type of minded personality they just took and accept the Good theories of Communism and rest they never accepted as they never needed rest of the theories.

    6. When Manichitrathazhu movie remake in Hindi as ‘ Bhool Bhuleiya’ then the Vidya Balan character of unknown personality speaks in Bengali whereas in Original Movie actress Shobna who got national awards for this speaks in Tamil (May be for the viewers) because mallu people easily understand tamil and in some district of kerala it widely used.
    But in ‘Bhool Bhuleya’ makers can try Marathi, Bojpuri, Haryanvi or Punjabi for the other character which is usually played by the Vidya Balan but filmakers knows that Bengali dialect can grip the sense of this movie and not spoil the enviroment of the whole movie, as you can’t imagine Vidya as a Marathi, Punjabi, etc etc may be movie loose his spirit but vidya played a it too well. As Vidya is a south Indian from Palakhad (Kerala) and her 3 best movies ‘Bhool Bhuleya’ ‘Kahani’ ‘Dirty Picture’ in which 2 time she played Bong Girl and one as Mallu Silk Smita.

    The only reason I mean that there something common in both states which can never be ignore.
    As Bengal Satyajit Ray there is Mallus Adoor Gopalakrishnan….. I have seen both director lots of movies and feels that both director are same in Direction.
    That’s Why both famous in Indian Cinematic History. They didn’t try to just earning money from the movies but they trying to show the real India through a sensible manner whether some people disgrace as vulgarity or any bullshit. They both have the God Gifted talents which are generally one step ahead of Imaginations from others.

    6. A Old tale was famous in these scenario that once there was 2 Brothers and both are Master in caught Fishes and living at sea shore as a fisherman after few years both were married to twin sisters and living happily but years past both sister started quarreling and feeling jealous from one another and when both brothers have no idea how can we manage this negative situations and how can we live happily with their wife’s (because as when both brothers return from sea they can’t take a proper rest) and slowly as days past situation become more worst and out of control. At last both brother decide to separate and searching for the new place and they decide whenever we have to meet we can meet at sea and this way their wife problems are also sorted out.
    That’s way the two generation apart but still follow some same traditions and cultures.

    (please don’t take anything personally and if anything related to him or her that’s should be co-incidentally. This is complete my opinion and view……..that’s all)

  2. If you go on the rice and fish theory good luck, a lot of coastal people in the world who are ethnic would be eating rice and fish that includes coastal Chinese, Japanese, Malays, etc. I don’t find any similarity between these 2 groups that is deep and they don’t particularly seek each other out or get along with each other tightly either, at least from my experience.


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