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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 22 July 2024 7.23 PM IST

India's first 'city of literature' is here in Kerala

kozhikode-city-of-literat

Kozhikode was probably the first city in Kerala to establish trade relations globally. The city saw bustling trade after Seafarer Vasco da Gama stepped foot on the historic Kappad beach. A testament to the land's syncretic culture was the rousing welcome offered to Arabs and Portugueses when they came as foreigners to the city. It was the affinity with literature that helped Kozhikode espouse a high cultural standard for centuries. Kozhikode has always been enriched by the association of music nights, plays, literary thoughts and more.

It is no secret that the world's great writers and painters liked to visit and live in Paris. It was just because the city respected and venerated artists and people who earned a living through the creative business. In Kerala too, Kozhikode was the city where some of the greatest writers chose to live. Vaikom Muhammad Basheer M.T. Vasudevan Nair and a myriad of other writers enriched Malayalam literature with letters while living in Kozhikode. 'Indulekha', the first novel in Kerala, was written by O. Chandu Menon, a native of Kozhikode.

Kozhikode is also the land of Sanjayan, who proved that articles can be read with gaiety; without losing the sharpness and facts they demand. UNESCO chose Kozhikode as India's only literary city last October but the government had to wait till 2024 June to make the announcement. Kozhikode is one of the 55 cities newly added by UNESCO to the list of the world's most soulful cities. Gwalior was also chosen as the city of music.

The recognition will certainly elevate the rich history of Kozhikode on a global level. This recognition came as a result of efforts made by the Kozhikode Municipal Corporation for more than two years to get the status of Literary City. The Kozhikode Municipal Corporation deserves all praise for this yeoman work. Kozhikode houses more than 500 libraries and more than 70 large and small book publishing houses. The literary and cultural programs hosted in the city are more than anywhere in India.

Writer S. K. Pottekkatt won the Njanapeedam Award after writing about Kozhikode and luring people to the city’s culture, cuisines and more.

Thikkodiyan, K.T. Muhammad, Urub, U.A. Khader, Kunjunni Mash, N.N. Kakkad, Aravindan, Pattathuvila Karunakaran, Punathil Kunjabdulla, Namboothiri and many other names can be remembered associated with the city of Kozhikode. Kozhikode is not only a city of literature but also a city of Hindustani music, ghazals and movies.

There is no other city like Kozhikode, when it comes to providing a perfect environment for anyone to become part of literature, drama, and cinema regardless of their status or knowledge in the field.

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TAGS: KERALA, CITY OF LITERATURE, CULTURAL, TRADE, POTTEKATT, CITY, KERALAL, NAIR, VASUDEVAN, WRITERS
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