Being Kodava – “No Thank you”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going against the theme of this blog by saying “no thanks” to being a Kodava. That’t not what this is about. Often I get asked where I’m from and more often than not people haven’t heard about Coorg. I also sometimes explain to people how and why the culture is so different from those that surround us.  There’s a lot of hype about our origins, including that we’re somehow connected with the Greeks of Alexander’s time. “Being Kodava” is my take on what it is to be a Kodava, and some of the things we should be proud of.

Someone once asked me how do you say thank you in your language. I told them in my language, we do not have words for “Thank you, Please, or Sorry”. We have never been taught it, and as far as I know, these words don’t exist. Did they once exist but were got rid of once the brits took  over our educational system? We’ll never know. But what I was told was the reason for this paucity of “Golden words” is because for kodava’s,  it’s our duties as family, community and friends to help each other out at all times, to always be there for anything, without having to ask please if you want something, say thank you when you have been helped, or say sorry if you have hurt.

kodava coorg traditional wedding jewelery men peeche odi kathi

This is quite deep if you think about it. Western education is steeped in the use of golden and kind words almost mechanically, sometimes without really meaning it. Making helping others a duty is really unique in our culture, and it really has to do  with the unique clan setups we have in Coorg: Clans typically helped each other with everything from planting crops, defending them against wild animals, celebrations, festivals, weddings, wars, etc. Every traditional wedding begins with the close family members getting together to cook for the entire wedding. It is our duty to help.

See there is more to being Kodava than coffee, Greeks and our weddings!

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7 thoughts on “Being Kodava – “No Thank you”

  1. That a nice write up young man. Young generation has their own perception on things and they can communicate better with their peers.
    Thank you for contributing to my blog all the way from New York…
    God bless
    Coorstories.com

    Reply
  2. This is Sandeep. I’m the developer of kodagu & coorg app. I saw your website.I thought it was better if we develop a mobile app (android) so that many people can use it in coorg. If you want I can develop a free Android app for you based on ur web. Also I can include the website in my app kodagu and coorg as I have lot of users using my app.

    Reply
    • Sandeep, this is truely an honour for me. My goal is to have future generations access to these stories about our wonderful land, and I would really appreciate the help and you doing that for me! Please let me know how we can proceed.

      Reply

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