Arabi Malayalam

From ancient times, the Malabar coast has had trade ties with the Arab world. Traders were dependent on favourable winds to travel across the Arabian Sea. This meant they had to stay on the shore for long stretches of time and build relations with the local people. The Mappilas were a community that evolved out of this interaction between the Arab trading community and the Malayalis. In due course, the Mappilas emerged as a community with a unique culture and language. Their language was written in the Arabic script and had a vocabulary made up of Arabic and Malayalam words. Arabi Malayalam literature was a lively world with magazines, verses and even novels coming out till the late 20th century. This module carries articles, an interview and a bibliography on Arabi Malayalam. The interview focuses on the genre of Mappilapattu (Mappila songs) that portray a wide range of emotions—love, faith, sorrow, protest. A female singer provides a flavour of Mappila songs.