KOCHI: The Kochi-based design start-up firm, Curiocity, started a Being Malayali campaign. “We asked our friends all over the world what ‘Being Malayali’ meant for them,” says Collins Samuel, founder and principal designer. Respondents wrote back what being Malayali was for them by tagging their pics in front of landmarks with the hashtag #beingmalayali. “
What started as a goodwill gesture by friends soon spread out to be a viral campaign all over the world which went on to include local Malayalis, non-resident Malayalis and even friends of Malayalis! “The sheer reach of the campaign brought the focus on the several-generation-old Malayali trait of moving out of their places of origin and making homes elsewhere,” says Collins. “It was sheer pleasure knowing what ‘being Malayali’ was for the ‘Generation X and Y.”
Collins was surprised that despite being global citizens, there were commonalities like cuisine, sense of humour, quirky references to Malayali culture, especially movies, that wove a common thread among the respondents.
Rose wrote back from London about how she misses the sun and the water in Kerala, while Thodingjam from Manipur writes how she has developed a taste for fish, indicating the bonhomie between Kerala and the states of the North East. The responses varied from references to Kerala’s tryst with Communism and the self-affirmation as God’s own country, of featuring high on social development indices, to the fixation with parathas from our thattukadas as comfort food and even to an oft forgotten reality — the Malayali nurses — the real ambassadors of Kerala. The ‘Being Malayali’ is the first photo campaign of its kind to have hit social media. It is now open to netizens all over the world who can use the hashtag #BeingMalayali. The responses will go online from August 17. The campaign will be displayed on the website, www.curiocity.in.