A state with 100% literacy, world standards of health, and a hardworking, determined, dedicated population is always setting standards in all most all the spheres of its activity. In more modern times, the Keralites have migrated in large numbers in search of employment to several foreign countries like United States, Malaysia and Singapore in South East Asia as well as to several countries of Africa and West Asia.
The professionals of Kerala are among the most wanted experts in the fields of medicine, Information Technology etc. Kerala stands in the forefront of Indian states in the matter of literacy and education. According to the census of 1991 the rate of literacy in Kerala is 94.59 per cent. This literacy rate is more than double that of the country. It is significant that Kerala is almost on par with the most advanced countries of the world in point of literacy. The beginning of Western education in Kerala may be associated with the work of Christian missionaries. The foundations of English education were firmly laid in Kerala. This led to the establishment of institutions offering professional and technical courses as well as those devoted to the promotion of oriental studies and fine arts.
Malayalam as a distinct language had its origin in the ninth century AD. Till then the people on either side of the Western Ghats spoke the same language, with dialectal variations within itself. There is general agreement among ethnologists that the first component of the word, viz., and ‘mala’ means hill or mountain, but in regard to the second component, viz.,’alam’ there is a difference of opinion, According to one view the word is identical with ‘azham’, meaning “sea” or “deep”, which would make Malayalam the land lying between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. In the other view Malayalam means “a land abounding in hills”. The earliest literary works in Malayalam are believed to have been the folk songs and ballads of popular origin. Kerala scholars have by their learned works enriched the diverse branches of Art and Science. Histrionics, Dance, Music, Mimamsa, Philosophy, Tantra, Architecture, Grammar, Mathematics, Astronomy, Astrology, and Medicine are some of those fields, which have been enriched by the literacy contributions of Kerala.