Ente Keralam എന്റെ കേരളം is a slender strip of land in the southern tip of Indian subcontinent. Beautiful and benign, this Indian state lies along a sun drenched coastline flanked by the Arabian Sea on the west and the mountains of the Western Ghats on the east.
Cascading delicately down the hills to the golden coasts covered by verdant coconut groves, Kerala is located between north latitudes 8 degree 18' and 12 degree 48' and east longitudes 74 degree 52' and 72 degree 22'. Encompasses 1.18 per cent of the country, this land of eternal beauty is the abode of more than 31.8 million Malayalees
Of the customs peculiar to Kerala, the most important ones are the Marumakkathayam and the joint family system. Marumakkathayam is the matrilineal system of inheritance. During the past ten decades, there had been an urge for a thorough change in the old family customs. Legislative sanctions were given to claim partition from the joint families and adopt Makkathayam (inheritance through the male line). Due advantage has been taken of these legislations by the majority of the communities.
The population of ancient Kerala is an assortment of different groups of Dravidian stock. The dominant view is that the present day hill tribes, the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, might have been the main groups of people who inhabited this region from times of yore. The ancient Dravidian kingdoms of South India (Chera, Chola and Pandya) as well as their people were held together by intimate bonds of blood, language and literature and that was the force which promoted a sort of cultural homogeneity in South India inspite of occasional intrigues, feuds and wars that caused not infrequent disharmony.
The end of the Perumal empire marks a turning point in the history of Kerala. From that period onwards, the people began to draw apart and those on this side of the Ghats began to build up their own customs and ways of life developing their own distinct culture in the long run.
The next landmark was the Aryan invasion. The warp of the Dravidian social structure gradually began to mingle with the weft of the Aryan cultural pattern. The Aryan immigrants, known locally as Namboodiri Brahmins, might have come in successive waves. Against the backdrop of Aryan invasion, the Parasurama legend about Kerala's origin, becomes meaningful.