What is the weirdest thing you’ve witnessed in an Indian wedding?

So I was attending a wedding in Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) in Kerala a few years ago. As I have written on a couple of earlier answers, Hindu Nair weddings are generally a demure affair. There’s nothing garish or loud about the entire function. So I was standing near the wedding dais as I was one of…

Which given names are unique to your language, country or culture?

Malayalam Although Malayalam is a relatively new language as compared to the more ancient languages from which it was coined, there are (were?) some given names among our lot that I haven’t heard being used in any other language. Before I go any further, I need to explain a bit of history behind our naming…

What is your favorite Malayalam word/phrase? Why?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I use a lot of Malayalam slang words and phrases in my daily banter… some of them are native to Ernakulam and Tripunithura, while some are picked up from my dad’s native place, Thrissur-Palakkad border, and thereabouts. Uvva! (ഉവ്വ ) This is like saying ‘Yeah right!’… intense sarcasm intended. Oh…

If you were royalty, what would your name be?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: In the state of Kerala in India (where I’m from), there is a specific procedure for naming royalty. Kerala had three or four principal kingdoms but only two major royal families – the royal families of the kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin. If I’d been born into the Travancore Royal…

Why matriarchal society of ancient human could last so many years in the past? According to the ESS, we can see the most stable male to female ratio is 1:1. So, why could this kind of society last for almost 35,000 years?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I belong to a community in India that is still matrilineal. There’s a basic difference between matrilineal and matriarchal. Many people tend to confuse between both or use one as a synonym for the other. They’re both different. A matriarchy is one where the head of the family is always…

Is Vasuki, the Lord of Patala Bhumis, married?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I believe that He is very much married. In all Nair ancestral homes, it was customary to have a serpent grove in the woods around the house. The idols kept for worship in these groves are those of Nagaraja (Vasuki), Nagayakshi and several other smaller idols representing their daughter, Nagakanyaka,…

How exciting is the life of a teen in Kerala?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: Ah! That’s an interesting question. For the sake of answering this question, let’s just talk about the average Malayali teenager… not the rare hip and happening ones. Age 13…Grade 8…HIGH SCHOOL! The age at which alarm bells go off in the heads of most parents. It’s time for their ‘children’…