When You’re Malayali, Everything is a Competition: A Take on the Malayali Mentality

As a proud Malayali, I can’t help but marvel at our cultural quirks, and boy, do we love good competition! From who can make the spiciest fish curry to who can throw the biggest wedding, we always strive to come out on top. So, join me as I look closer at the Malayali mentality and how we turn everything into a fierce battle for glory!

The Malayali Mentality

The Malayali mentality is deeply rooted in our history and culture. Our ancestors were known for their prowess in trade, education, and other fields. This legacy has been passed down through the generations, and today, the Malayali community is known for its high achievement in various fields.

However, this competitive nature is not limited to academic and professional pursuits. Whether it’s our weddings, cars, or fancy new tech toys, we can’t resist the urge to one-up each other. We’re in a never-ending game show, and the prize is…well, bragging rights, mostly. But hey, we’ll take what we can get! Everything is a competition, and we constantly strive to outdo one another.

The Competitive Mentality in Malayalam Movies

The competitive Malayali mentality is a common theme in many Malayalam movies. From academic competition to family rivalries, the Malayali obsession with success and outdoing others is a popular subject in the film industry.

Academic competition is a favourite topic, with many movies showing the intense pressure on students to excel in their studies. Many Malayalam movies showcase the intense competition among students to achieve academic success.  It’s like parents think their child’s future depends on getting top marks in every subject. And let’s not forget the cutthroat competition among students to be the best in the class. These films often highlight parents’ pressure on their children to excel academically and the cut-throat competition among students to secure top marks. I mean, who needs enemies when you have classmates like these?

And then there’s the family rivalry. Malayalam movies love to showcase the competition between families, each trying to outdo the other regarding wealth, status, and reputation. These movies often depict the lengths families will go to outdo each other, even if it means resorting to unethical means.  It’s like a never-ending game of one-upmanship, with each family trying to prove they are better. Their lengths can be pretty extreme, from stealing ideas to outright sabotage.

For example, Ustad Hotel tells the story of a young man who aspires to become a chef but faces resistance from his family. The movie also highlights the cut-throat competition in the restaurant business and the pressure of living up to family expectations.

In Amen, the rivalry between two church choirs in a small village in Kerala is taken to extreme levels. The competition affects the people’s lives in the village, and the movie shows how the rivalry becomes a matter of life and death.

Kumbalangi Nights is a hilarious take on a dysfunctional family where the brothers compete to prove their superiority. The competition leads to conflicts and tension within the family, which is resolved through a journey of self-discovery and reconciliation.

In Malayalam movies, the business world is portrayed as a battleground, with entrepreneurs fighting tooth and nail to outdo each other. These films highlight the cut-throat competition in business, where even a small slip-up can mean the difference between success and failure. It’s like the Hunger Games, but with business suits and ties instead of weapons and battle gear.

The Impact on Society

Now, don’t get me wrong, our Malayali competitive streak is an absolute powerhouse. It’s like having a team of cheerleaders in our brains, pushing us constantly to be the best. But let’s be real; all that pressure can make us feel like we’re drowning in chai. The constant need to outdo everyone can leave us feeling like we’re never good enough. And let’s not forget the stress-induced balding that comes with it. So, while our competitive nature has its perks, it’s essential to take a chill pill and remember that we’re all awesome in our ways.

Moreover, this mentality can create an unhealthy and unsustainable environment, but sometimes it can be a real buzzkill. When we’re too busy trying to one-up each other, we forget to work together as a team.

So, let’s put down the paripu vadas and bondas and work on building a more collaborative and cooperative society. Who knows, we might even win the gold medal in friendship?

Breaking the Cycle

Breaking this cycle of competition requires a shift in mindset. We must recognize that success is not a zero-sum game and that everyone has enough room to succeed. Instead of competing, we should focus on collaboration and cooperation and celebrate each other’s successes.

We also need to redefine what success means. Success is not just about achieving material wealth or social status but also about personal fulfilment, happiness, and contributing to society. By redefining success, we can create a more inclusive and sustainable society.

The Malayali mentality of competition has always been a double-edged sword. On one hand, it has propelled us towards greatness, but on the other, it has created a toxic and unsustainable atmosphere. To break free from this vicious cycle, we need a hero who can change our mindset and show us that success is not a fight to the death but a journey to be enjoyed together. Let’s redefine what it means to be a winner and create a new world where everyone is a star, and no one is left behind. Are you ready to be the change we need?

Rishika Sunit
Hi there! I'm Rishika. When it comes to scribbling, I reckon words have more muscle than Popeye! I love to educate, tickle the funny bone, and get folks all fired up. And let me tell you, turning big-brain stuff into simple, easy-to-digest sentences is my superpower! I'm thrilled to have this space to connect with like-minded individuals and to continue learning and growing together. Thank you for visiting my page!

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