Full access at just Rs 3/day

Journalism of Courage
Advertisement

Calendar with Malayalam numerals released to mark start of new year

While the young generation is mostly unversed in Malayalam numerals, the calendar is sure to evoke nostalgic memories in the elders.

Malayalam New year, calendar with Malyalam numericals, indian express The calendar begins with the Malayalam month of Chingam (mid August) and ends with Karkidakkam (July-Aug). (Source: Premkumar T R)

As August 17 marked the beginning of the Malayalam new year, a calendar with Malayalam numerals was released in Ernakulam on Wednesday. The calendar begins with the Malayalam month of Chingam (mid August) and ends with Karkidakkam (July-Aug).

The highlight of the calendar is that it uses Malayalam numerals.
While the young generation is mostly unversed in Malayalam numerals, the calendar is sure to evoke nostalgic memories in the elders.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Premkumar T R of Moozhikulam Shala, the organisation that brings out the calendar, said the organisation had been doing it since 2010. However, in the past three years, the calendar was not published owing to the declining interest among the public.

“Apart from those practising njattuvela farming, teachers, students, librarians and astrologers form most of the customer base,” Premkumar said.

Subscriber Only Stories
Premium
Premium
Premium
Premium

Njattuvela, sankranti, vattezhuthu (an ancient script) and eco-cultural chronologies are also a part of the calendar brought out by Moozhikulam Sala. Njattuvela marks the period when paddy and other crops are planted in Kerala. The calendar also holds significance for the agrarian past of the state. Several agricultural activities in the past were decided according to a particular set of rules. Even now, many in the state follow the practice.

The highlight of the calendar is that it uses Malayalam numerals. (Source: T R Premkumar)

Dr Hushain K H, who designed the first Malayalam font, said Malayalam numerals were predominantly used in astronomy earlier. “Now, Malayalam heritage has been lost. With the introduction of English, Arabic and Roman numerals in school textbooks, Malayalam numerals find no use.” Hushain was full of praise for Moozhikulam Shala for publishing the calendar regularly.

Narayanan Bhattathiri, a Malayalam calligrapher and designer, recollected the wide usage of Malayalam numerals in the past. “However, its usage has declined now with the wide usage of English. It will be difficult to revive Malayalam numerals now as everything including vehicle registration numbers and calculators has English numerals. The trend is witnessed in other languages also. While there is little usage of Devanagari numerals, English numerals are mostly preferred.”

Advertisement

Dr M G Sasibhooshan, an Indologist based in Thiruvananthapuram, reminisced about his school days when he learnt vattezhuthu in a kudipalikudam (traditional nursery school where children learnt the alphabet) in 1950s. “It was part of our knowledge system. However, for the present generation, the Malayalam language is distant. Children are not even learning the Malayalam alphabet in school,” he said.

“Keralites cannot confine themselves to the state and learning English is a necessity. But we need to understand that Malayalam is part of the traditional knowledge system,” he added.

First published on: 17-08-2022 at 03:43:36 pm
Next Story

Siya teaser: A chilling look at the crimes women are forced to endure and the exhaustive quest for justice

Tags:
Home
ePaper
Next Story
close
X