Kerala has a history of many centuries. From time immemorial one can discern visible peculiarities in Kerala society, politics and religions. However, it is a historical truth that at the bottom of these diversities there exists comfortably a culture that is independent. That is Kerala’s unique culture. And, that is reflected in Kerala’s language, Malayalam.
Malayalam belongs to the Dravidian family of languages. We can see Malayalam speaking people in every nook and cranny of the world. Though it is true that Malayalam is the language of Malayalees it is spoken only by a limited group in the world. In a bid to propagate the language the world over, the Government of Kerala under its Department of Culture started the Malayalam Mission.
Malayalam was brought under, the classic language category in 2013, a status that is given to languages that are 200 or more years old.
Though there were attempts to help expatriate Malayalees in learning the language, it fructified only on 22 October 2009 when the Malayala Mission was officially inaugurated in New Delhi. Headquartered in Thiruvananthapuram, the Mission has offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and hundreds of language learning centers both within and outside India.
A library started functioning in the Malayalam Mission situated in the Travancore House in July 2011. A web magazine named ‘Pookalam’ was also launched. The Mission endeavors to foster the creative talents of the children of expatriate Malayalees and inculcate in them a passion for the language, and patriotism. These are also the goals of the Malayalam Mission. To achieving that end, the Mission offers certificate, diploma, higher diploma, senior diploma and various other courses.
The text book for these courses are mainly in four headings; those that can be learnt in the first two years called ‘Kanikonna’, those for the next two years called ‘Sooryakanthi’; for the third stage which has a three-year duration, the book is ‘Ambal’, and in the final stage three-year course, the book is ‘Neelakurinji’. With this the student will be in a position to complete the higher diploma course and become eligible to receive a certificate equivalent to tenth class/standard.
The projects of the Malayalam Mission also include conducting of tours for learners of the study centers to places of historical and cultural significance in Kerala.