9+ Important Malayalam Manners And Etiquette To Remember

Malayalam Manners And Etiquette Ling App

No matter where in this world you go, you must first learn the proper ways to act and show respect to the place, people, and culture. When visiting the Indian state of Kerala, it is important to brief yourself about Malayalam manners and etiquette.

How should you behave when in this southwestern Indian state? Let me help you with what you need to know to keep your grace and manners while getting enchanted by the rich scenic sights and cultural heritage that await in the place.

The Importance Of Respect In Malayalam Culture

While you might find friendly people in Kerala, know that most locals respect their privacy. They don’t easily get comfortable, especially with tourists. Unlike in many cities in other countries, you seldom hear loud conversations of the locals in a public place in Kerala.

You must know how to greet and show them respect. Know your place all the time – you are a visitor in their land. You must make an effort to make them feel right and not the other way around.

Here are some factors that can help you get around easily in Kerala and other parts of India.

Malayalam Manners And Etiquette Ling App

Greetings Etiquette

  • “Namaskaram” (നമസ്കാരം) is the traditional Indian greeting that shows good manners. This sign of respect and etiquette is done by pressing your palms together and slightly bowing.
  • Handshakes are allowed in business meetings, but if you doing business with the locals, wait for them to offer their hands and initiate the act before proceeding.

Addressing Others

  • Use the titles of people when addressing them, such as Madam, Ma’am, Sir, Doctor, etc. This is considered good manners and a sign that you honor and respect them.
  • Another etiquette is never to address people by their first names unless they insist. Call them by their title or surname until they invite you to call them by their first name.

Dining Etiquette And Good Manners

  • It’s considered impolite to eat using the left hand in Kerala. So make sure you eat with the right hand to abide by the custom, show respect, good manners, and follow the etiquette.
  • You can share food with your companions if you’re friends with them. This act is considered a sign of camaraderie and good manners.
  • When serving food, give it to the elders first as an etiquette. It is also usual that the locals serve food to their guests first before their family members as a sign of hospitality, good manners, and respect.

Communication Manners

  • For non-verbal communication, it’s polite to nod to express agreement with what the other person is saying. You must also maintain modest eye contact to make the person feel you’re listening while they are speaking. Listen to their words when they talk, and speak only once they are done.
  • For verbal communication, be responsible for not raising your voice, even in disagreements. It is best to keep your voice calm and respectful all the time. You must also use polite words and phrases often, such as “Dayavayi” (ദയാവായി), meaning please, and “Nanni” (നന്നി), meaning thank you.
Malayalam Manners And Etiquette Ling App

Dress Code

  • Women must wear clothes that cover their shoulders as a sign of respect. It’s a must to dress appropriately when visiting religious places for women and men alike.
  • When you visit a temple or people’s homes, it is customary that you remove your shoes before entering to respect the sanctity of their space.

Known Taboos

  • Avoid public displays of affection because this is considered disrespectful. Wait until you’re inside your hotel or place to stay before getting romantic with a partner.
  • Never use your left hand when receiving or giving. Always remember to lay your right hand first so you won’t get confused.

Never Lecture The Locals About Food

  • Kerala is among the handful of Indian states that allows beef consumption. Pork is also a favorite among a vast majority. So, if you do not consume either of the two due to your religious or other beliefs, you are advised to convey the information respectfully to your host or hotel staff. Staying away from being critical, speaking badly, or trying to lecture them about your own beliefs is always a good idea.

Respect The Culture

  • Be mindful of your etiquette all the time. Malayalis are more conservative when it comes to their culture than those from other parts of India. You must be aware of the traditions and customs they follow in their daily life and never make fun of their social makeup, attire, and beliefs. Most locals are protective of their culture, so if you want to have a peaceful stay, you must always be respectful.
  • Part of respecting the culture is to avoid asking the locals about their caste. If you do, they will not only frown on you but consider the act offensive.

Malayalam Words And Phrases That Show Respect

Here’s a look at the respectful words and phrases you must remember while learning about the etiquette and local language.

EnglishMalayalamTranscription
Thank youനന്നിNanni
PleaseദയാവായിDayavayi
Excuse meക്ഷമിക്കണംKshamikkanam
It is my pleasureഅതെന്റെ സന്തോഷമാണ്Athente sandoshamaanu
Respected eldersമുതിർന്നവരെ ബഹുമാനിക്കുകMuthirnnavare bahumaanikkuka
Please be politeദയവായി മര്യാദ പാലിക്കുകDayavaayi maryaada paalikkuka

FAQs About Malayalam Manners And Etiquette

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the etiquette and respecting the Malayali culture:

Is it essential to learn Malayalam language to show respect?

Learning the language and local words will help you communicate with the locals. However, it doesn’t carry as much importance as learning the proper ways to act and speak when in Kerala.

Can I go to religious places in casual attire?

Make sure that you prepare what you wear when visiting religious places or attending religious festivals. It’s best to wear modest and conservative clothes when visiting such places.

Are there other gestures that I need to avoid?

Make sure that you don’t point your feet to religious objects or people because it’s a sign of disrespect.

Malayalam Manners And Etiquette Ling App

Learn More Malayalam Words With Ling

After getting briefed about the right manners and etiquette to follow when visiting Kerala, it’s best to practice the language using an app like Ling. It’s an interactive app that makes language learning easy and fun. Aside from Malayalam, it features other languages, like Serbian, Marathi, Ukrainian, Swahili, and many more.

With Ling, not only do you practice words and phrases, but also improve upon your conversation skills thanks to its AI-powered chatbot. What a great way to start mouthing comprehending and mouthing words and sounds of a new language so early in your learning journey! So, get going now!

Download it from the Play Store or App Store today.

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