Feb 11, 2011

Banana chips and other mallu stereotypes

Malluland is Kerala, a small state in Southern India famous for its Beaches and pseudo-ayurvedic massage centres. The language spoken by the dravidians in kerala is Malayalam and hence the other name Malluland. The subjects of Malluland are called Malayalis (or Malayalees) and in short form Mallus.

Whenever I have told my clasmates, college-mates and colleagues that I am from Malluland, I had always received the response (mostly from Mallus), "Really? But you don't look like the typical Mallu!" "You don't behave like a conventional Malayali!" This made me wonder how a typical mallu behaves or looks like. I have spent the most part of past one year in Kerala and I think I've partly found the answer or rather I've found what a Malayali's own opinion about another Malayali is when they talk about typical Mallness.

Mallu men wearing Lungi

A typical Mallu guy should have a meesha (moustache) as if the meesha is the source of his virility. The guys without meesha are not considered as men, they are still the 'Paiyyans'( the adolescent ones). The Mallu guys are expected to be experts in wearing the 'lungis'. The lungis are the informal wear they wear at home. It similar to mundu which is a formal traditional wear. The lungis can be made of cotton or polyester or any cloth and comes in different colours while a mundu is usually made of cotton and white or cream colored. They are both just loin clothes which are tied without any belt or any support thereof and wonderfully stays in its place and seldom falls off. Though a lungi shows as much as bare legs as shorts (or even more), Malayalis look down upon wearing shorts. (And some men like my neighbour, do not bother to wear an underwear below the lungi and take pride in (un)knowingly flashing their teeny weeny at the neighbourhood girls). Men do not bother to wear a shirt or anything on top of the lungi and walks around topless (I know Kerala is hot and humid and they are topless in their houses, but isn't it decency to cover a fat flabby torso with male boobs just to hide your ugliness?).

I'm still figuring out the psyche of the Mallu males, but their mindset towards the women clan is that women are the slaves of men and they are supposed to be controlled by men. A man as a husband is a failure who cannot rule over his woman's body and mind. A man is very protective towards his sister or wife or daughters and virtually keeps them under house-arrest, denying them the pleasures of mingling with other mallu or non-mallu males, denying them the right to wear fashionable clothing and denying them the right to explore the world outside her home. (I wonder if Taliban men were Mallus once.)

A typical Mallu woman is expected to have curly oily hair with long tresses with a twig of tulsi leaves on her hair. I know what you guys are thinking. No, my hair doesn't stink of oil nor have I a stick of tulsi leaves on my hair. My hair is definitely curly but well shampooed and never oily. It borders on the dry and lifeless side. I don't know which is worse as my non-oiled hair get dishevelled fast and I have to always tie it up. I got over this problem by undergoing the hot process of straightening my hair. And I love every strand of my new improved straightened hair. (Thank you, whoever it was who discovered hair straightening).

A typical Mallu married woman is supposed to have a lot of gold on her body; gold chain, gold necklace, gold earrings, gold anklets, gold bracelets, gold loin-chains and so on. They are yet to wake up to the truth that platinum and diamonds are more expensive that the yellow metal. 

The one thing I like about mallu women are that most of them are well-endowed with assets. (Even me, I'm a 36D. I would probably be a G but I couldn't find anything beyond D in Kerala). I've found that Malayali and Bengali women are well endowed and I wonder if it has anything to do with the communist governments. About the Mallu men's assets, sorry I'm not experienced to comment. But going by the sham ads of enhancing creams and tubings, I guess the Mallu junior is not very impressive.

And other thing about Mallus is that they cook exclusively in coconut oil. Starting from the fish curry to the pickles to the pappadams. The banana chips (and jack fruit chips) fried in coconut oil are a favorite of any Malayali and they simply relish them.  

Banana Chips

So this is all I've figured out in my one year of stay. And I'm wondering how can I marry the typical Mallu male? That would be disaster! 


  1. I was unable to activate the video. Your post is very interesting, especially to one who knows nothing of Indian culture. Thank you so much for sharing this information! I'm afraid you are much too indipendent to be married to a Malllu man!

  2. A place crawling with possessive men who are insecure about their Tamil Nadus is the last thing a busty girl needs. I suggest you run away to the Congo, Miss Runaway, we have plenty of ripe bananas for you here.

  3. LOL. This made me laugh. I can't watch the video yet so I'll go home and do it, but you crack me up. How will you marry a traditional man at all? That is what I wonder.

  4. haha...I always just learn sooo much when I read this blog!

  5. i know a few malayalee men around here, they dont go around wearing lungis and all, but there's definitely a strong clan spirit among them that really puts me off!

  6. @ Eva: Did I post a video?. I'm not sure about that. I feel I'm too independent to marry ANY man.

    @ Mr. Gorilla: I'm coming Mr. Gorilla. I'm sure you will introduce me to all the nice male-gorillas in Congo, who are not insecure about their Tamilnadus. Or maybe just you would suffice.

    @ Rita: Even I wonder about it. But which is the video you guys are talking about?

    @ Dani: I shall teach you more.

    @ Jaya J: Yes, the clan spirit! And if they happen to be first generation immigrants, they will speak only in Malayalam even if its a group with 5 Malayalees and 10 Non-Malayalees.

  7. Oh gurrll...apart from the geography, a "typical" Telugu guy is NO different! hahahahah. But Malluland? Now, thatz another story! Beautiful.

  8. And PUH-lease! be it Telugus of Mallus, the prospect is scary! Hope you find a non-typical guy :) All the best!

  9. You know, as a Mallu girl myself, I completely and totally agree with you on each and every point. Many are the fights I have had with my clan for refusing to wear the cherished (by them, dreaded by me) yellow metal. I hope you get a great guy who has none of the negative Mallu characteristics.

  10. You made my slightly hungry with the banana picture, looks tasty :P thanks for the insight to your culture :)

  11. "..teeny weeny.." LMAO
    I love this post!

  12. @ Mad Fat Girl: Missed your comments here. The prospects are always scary.

    @Merrymusing: That!. A little bit of yellow in the ear or something is alright. But to walk as if you are one jewellery shop of yellow metal is so pathetic.

    @Bz: Yes, those banana chips are crispy and tasty. Try it sometime.

    @Mehwish: ;-)

  13. You teach me so much about so many cultural nuances. Thank you!

  14. Oh that's weird. When I first viewed the post, the picture you have up was a video. The one with the men.

  15. One mallu to another, if you're lucky, you'l end up with the non typical mallu...the non meesha, non chauvinistic kinds....:) You missed the accent by the way...that's quite famous ain't it?

  16. Isn't the male attitude a bit of an universal truth though? Or maybe not. Fascinating culture facts.

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  18. Hahaa this is SO funny and well written!! I'm actually working on a novel about arranged marriages so this resonates with me a lot.

  19. Ha! I say you should run away with Gorilla Bananas.

  20. could u tell me what a typical marriage is like between a mallu woman and mallu man?? is it true that the mallu man is very dominating over his woman? what if the mallu man works abroad for 6 mos out of the year.... what does the mallu wife do then?? and is it true that the mallu woman and her children live with the mallu husband's family

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  22. being a mallu gal i persony dnt feel all mallus are the same there are xeptions.....

  23. I'm in love with a Mallu guy <3

  24. You are spot on my dear. I am not sure what went wrong with the malayalees. They are so narrow minded.

  25. Lol...Well mallu men their weird moustaches, penchant for all things traditional , especially the coconut oil. Despite all that mallu men are made out to be I thought I would invest some time in trying to defend them a wee bit.

    Basically a mallu ( hate the word though, it used to be derogatory initially) I would prefer being called a malayalee or if need be more anglicised...a keralite.

    Most men from Kerala are educated compared to most parts of India or if we argue and try to go by statistics to most part of the world regional or otherwise. But the hitch is there regressive - progressive attitude to traditional versus modern outlook which can test the patience of most people who have been born and reared elsewhere. I know since Im not really a resident keralite myself.

    Eve teasing, ogling, being an utter annoying nonsense...yea defines most (mallu) men. The reason being
    1) They are supposed to conform to strict guidelines at home with most female members of the family or extended family.
    2) There is or isn't or was no prevalent dating culture in Kerala.

    These guys might be very reserved and conduct themselves with a good degree of control in most situations but kind of let their hair down to some unfamiliar female subject in a public place or otherwise. Its just the hormones talking women.

    As husbands I think they do a fabulous job , sticking to thankless jobs and defining their entire life based on their family or family values. Divorce is /was considered one of the biggest failures in a typical malayalee man's life.

    And compared to most states in India , women folk are better cared for educated , employed and taken care of in Kerala than the rest. Well ofcourse it helps if the women aren't that metropolitan in outlook and are happy with the living within means, sacrificing for a future and ambitious in establishing a successful family life.

    Life in kerala is mundane and secure and BORING. I kno since I lived most of my life in the middle east and with a stint in UK for my 2nd post grads and can compare with my university life of 5 years in Kerala. I have seen the evolved westernized countries literally reduce women to lips, tits, and ass and a commodity of various range of selection over the weekends. Women are touted to b free and living the life, but in most cases are single and ready to mingle before very long or have to go through the heart ache of being single mothers.

    For a malayalee girl like you who has tasted a more westernized life I guess most mallu or out of country mallus wont suffice as it will be dreary to break out of the traditional mould. And yeah their bananas arent much to talk about and most of them are pretty ignorant on the finer aspects of satisfying a woman without always depending on the dick or being a dick.

    My problem is the exact opposite of yours. I just find most malayalee women typical hypocrites, as they want to experience everything of a more open and liberal life but finally after everything said and done just go ahead and marry the well to do family suggested malayalee for financial security. Or perhaps the concept of metro malayalee woman is only for show. I kno women need financial security and all that, but heck not every young working guy has the honor to b born into wealth.

    So love them or hate them mallu men will exist and hopefully evolve into something I can be more proud of in future. Like having an open outlook , freeing their women than caging them, and adopting modern practices while still having basic cultural roots that dont annoy anybody.

    1. Keralite women are better empowered than their counterpart in rest of india.If they had been kept under wraps you wouldnt find the whole world filled with keralite lady nurses.

      I wouldnt like to comment on any other aspects not culturally correct to be debated online though it is evry ones to his/hers perceptives.

      to single out mallus isnt that correct ,it shows the ignorance of other sections of society in other parts of the world.each and every society has its own pros and cons which have been derived due to the circumstsnces and situations they have lived from ages and suited best to the environment in which they live.to compare the clothes of europe to india and say europe's clothing ways are culturally correct shows ignorance only.A european in south india would just like to move arounf without shirts and even shorts if he could to come in terms with the weather. I can show snaps of foreigners in india moving around without shirts on.

      The article says nothing on the hygenic part of mallus . it is poles apart from the Americans and europe. They bathe at least 2 times a day compared to other parts of the world where even bath/day is luxury or rare.

      satire is welcome but should nort twist facts . any person who is new to the facts may take it as correct

  26. Nice information provided about Kerala. Banana chip's made me hungry.

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  27. You write so well. this was hilarious !

  28. All women that hate Kerala traditions and men living here, you can choose not to come here ever again. If you think you're better off living in more modern places in the north, please go ahead... (try to get an iron underwear made from a local lathe, with all those rape stories you know...)

    This is Kerala... we are happy the way we are and if you don't like it stay away please. the tourism in Kerala is meant for Westerners and not for dhotiwala's.. stay home eat dal and roti three times a day and get raped by your own folks (and by folks i mean dad)....

    And the author with sun dried hair who is proud by the fact that she doesn't look like a typical mallu, well you curse the creators for taking you away from the safest place in India (iron underwear please)! So you can continue watching tasteless triangle tearjerkers where all 50 something arjuns and rahuls dance their way around pancake coated middle aged women.

  29. I am not saying we are good or bad. I got the following lines from another blog. But it is pretty close

    .I am not a Mallu I am a Malayali
    2.Shakeela is not from my state
    3.Sreesanth is from my state,but I hate him.
    4.My mother tongue is not Tamil.
    5.I may like Rajnikanth or Shah Rukh Khan.....but I always prefer Mohanlal
    6.I love cricket...but I love football more
    7.I am an Indian....yes Sachin is God.....
    8.All my uncles are not in Dubai...
    9.I am not always a Nair
    10.I am an alcoholic,unless I am gay impotent or just plainly scared of mom.
    11.I may or may not be Marxist,but essentially a socialist
    12.I may not laugh at your joke...no offenses..blame it on Jagathy Sreekumar..I have already heard them.
    13.You may not laugh at my joke...no offenses...blame it on Sreenivasan...you would not understand.
    14.I am a non vegetarian.....and Yes I eat beef
    15.If you find me and another malayali shouting at each other animatedly at the top of our voices calling each other names...never bother we are just having a healthy discussion on Mammootty and Mohanlal.
    16.When I was a student....I never bunked...we just called a strike...
    17.Yes I use a lungi....and play football wearing it.....now you can't beat that.
    18.I don't understand Kadhakali.......
    19.I don't like you much,I may look down upon you...can't help it....that is how we are made....
    20.When you are talking to me....never mention Poland....again blame it on Sreenivasan..you wouldn't understand.

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  31. Ur post was pretty cool.
    But i thinku are a bit biased and look at things as an outsider.
    Not all girls have tulsi in their hair.
    Brothers and fathers are usually protective of their girls around the world.And it is uncommon for girls to be put on house arrest by them in India.But i think that is gradully changing in new gen kids.

    As far as the lungis, gold and oily hairs are concerned, i coudn't agree more.

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