18-Nov-2017
Author:  Anasudhin Azeez

You can take a Keralite out of Kerala, but you can't take Kerala out of a Keralite Is there any end in sight to migration from Kerala? Do we stop dreaming about greener pastures once the state has at

You can take a Keralite out of Kerala, but you can't take Kerala out of a Keralite Is there any end in sight to migration from Kerala? Do we stop dreaming about greener pastures once the state has attained self-reliance in everything? The answer to both these questions is a big no. Because the tendency to explore is in the DNA of every Malayalee and it won't disappear in a jiffy. The lack of employment opportunities may be one of the reasons but not the sole reason for this exodus. That lies in the character and general attitude towards life of Malayalees. Majority of us always want to outsmart our neighbour. The wealth of the neighbour is always a yardstick to measure his success. He will compare himself with his neighbour and worries about the missed opportunities. Working abroad is always an option for thousands from the state to earn quick bucks. They will even go to extremes to fulfill these ambitions. They will sell the family silver and pawn their properties to pay visa fees and other charges to leave the motherland. There is no hesitation to do menial jobs outside the state which they may refuse to do back home. Traditionally we are seafarers because of the coastal nature of the state. Some of our ancestors landed in Yemen by risking their life in the rough Arabian Sea. But the emergence of new modes of travel and the need for skilled and unskilled workers helped us to reach new avenues in American and European continents. According to unofficial figures nearly 10 per cent of Kerala's population are living outside the state. Expat Keralites, including the thousands in the UK, constitute one of the largest immigrant segments from India. About two million Keralites are living in the Gulf and the rest scattered all over the world. They are now part of the 192 million economic migrants in the world. There are various reasons for fuelling Keralites' quest for new avenues in alien lands. Some are blaming the poor economy of the state for triggering the first large scale migration of Malayalees during the 70s to the neuve rich oil kingdoms in the Gulf.


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