Saturday, November 15, 2014

I am a Malayalee; I will remain a Malayalee.

Jose Paul (Delhi)

Like the many Keralite Catholics who settled in various Indian cities, Shri Jose Paul also had a troublesome past. Finding a job, a shelter, support and a lot more of primary requirements were real challenges. Still they survived. As time went on, a typical species of peacocks mostly exported from Kerala, flew down to their home cities with empty buckets. The story continues... Editor

Kerala is one of the most beautiful part of our Country. We call it God’s own country. I am proud of it. During the middle of the last century, the literacy level of Kerala was the highest in the country.  But in spite of this, the youngsters from Kerala, educated and uneducated had no scope for earning their livelihood there. Hence thousands and thousands of Keralites left Kerala in search of job opportunities elsewhere.

They went to all parts of the world. Worked hard everywhere. They did not know the language of the places they went. They took great risks and took up the challenges in these places and worked in all sorts of jobs. They worked as coolies, venders, peons, porters, clerks, nurses, Doctors, Engineers, managers, as officers in govt and other organisations. They had to face problems of language, culture, housing and changes in food habits, even changes in dress style. They overcame all these hurdles and survived. With all the changes that took place in their life, not a single one forgets that they belong to Kerala. In spite of all the cultural, language and social onslaughts, they learned the new language, integrated with the cultural and social conditions and became a part of the place that they lived. But they still never sacrificed their identity as a malayalee. These people many of them send money to look after their families in Kerala while working elsewhere. Many of them brought their families to the place they worked. They always felt that they are belonging to their beloved Kerala.

They come home to Kerala for holidays and some for permanent stay in Kerala mostly at the time of retirement. They, while they were away from Kerala and when they were in Kerala, or while they are back in Kerala, they remained as Keralites or Malayalee. Is there anybody either in Kerala or in any part of the world who deny their right to be a Malayalee and at the same time their freedom to integrate themselves with the society and culture they live and are living during most part of their life? Do they need permission from anybody to call themselves a Malayalee or an Indian in any part of the Country? A born Malyalee is a Malayalee. A born Syrian Catholic is a Syrian catholic. They do not become a Latin catholic, other backward class (the words of the hierarchy), dalit or tribal catholic just because he or she lived in the only one catholic church the faith of which is the same and under the same spiritual authority. They do not need any certificate to prove that they are a Syrian Catholic either in the place where they work and live or when they come for holidays or for social and spiritual activities. So also they do not require anybody’s certificate or permission to integrate them to the society they are living and lived for many years. They were born as Syrian Catholics and they will remain as Syrian Catholic at the same time integrating with the society with which they lived for many years.

Is it true whether a Malayalee (Syrian catholic) become a non-Malayalee (a Latin catholic) if he lives in any other parts of the world?. Will he become a non-Malayalee (Latin catholic)when he comes to his own place for any reason temporally or permanently just because he was out of Kerala? Will a Syrian catholic Malayalee become a non  Syrian catholic because he or she lived in a society which does not allow any type of catholic religious services in places such as Saudi Arabia. Will a Syrian Catholic priest who serves in a European country such as Germany serving the people in celebrating the Sacrements including marriage and baptism in Latin Church in Latin Rite considered a Latin priest by the Syrian Heirarchy? Do you give a special certificate for that so that they can come back and live as a Syrian priest? Can we the lay people also get a certificate like that?

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