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Kolkali

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The land of mystical beauty and rich culture, Kerala is truly God’s own country in every sense. The serenity of its beautiful beaches, the charm of its breathtaking landscapes, the cool salubrious climate of its hill stations, the subtlety of its backwaters and the richness of its culture and history is enough to sweep the ground below your feet. It is incomparable, incontestable and inexplicable. When tourists come from all over the world to visit this state, they will be satisfied in every sense, aesthetically, spiritually and mentally. One of the distinct and finest aspects of Kerala is its rich culture which is expressed in myriad forms like dances, festivals, art forms, folk art, food, dress, lifestyle etc. it is magnetic and truly amazing and you will never get enough of it. The dances and art forms of Kerala are famous all over the world. One such popular form of folk art is Kolkali which is peculiar to the northern Malabar region of Kerala.

Kolkali is a form of art form in which the dancers move in a circle, expanding and contracting as the dance progresses. They use striking small sticks as their prop and maintain the rhythm with the steps. As the dancers continue with their performance the music slowly raises, reaches a pitch and so the dance reaches its climax. This art form of Kerala is linked to various other dances and art forms like Kathakali, Poorakkali, Velakali etc. About twelve to twenty four dancers take part in the dance and they move around a ceremonial lamp placed in the centre. As the dance progresses the dancers tap their feet in perfect rhythm with the sticks and move around in circles. This dance is performed by people of all religion belonging to this region, be it Muslims, Christians or the Harijans. Thus it cuts across all castes and religions. This dance can be performed in different ways with varying forms of choreography. Most of the dancers wear the same costume which is basically white, or rather white most of the time. They wear the traditional south Indian white lungis, white shirt and a belt around them with a cap or a scarf tied around their head.  All this makes the dance look much coordinated.

Even though not much is written about the history or origination of this dance, this is a very popular art form for the locals of the Malabar region. They perform it with great grandeur and it occupies a great importance in their social and cultural life. It gives them a distinct identity and adds to the richness of their culture. Any society is known by its social and cultural attributes. People are known by the way the live, celebrate their festivals and interact with other communities. They derive their distinct identity from their culture. Kerala is one the few states with groups having varied cultural backgrounds and ethnicity. This makes the state distinct and different from the others and also acts as a major attractive force, bringing people from all corners of the world.

 
 
 
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