Studies & Degrees in Malayalam

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Do you have an interest in the major languages and literature of Southern India?  Have you considered pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Malayalam?  The Bachelor of Arts degree in Malayalam is a very unique and interesting course of study, one which will provide to students an in-depth look at the history of the language, as well as the various works of literature that have originated from the regions in which the language is most prevalent.  To help you become more familiar with this degree program, below we will provide several details regarding the B.A. degree in Malayalam, including the basic structure of the course and the eligibility requirements, along with a brief description of the type of topics students will study while pursuing this degree.
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Malayalam
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Malayalam is a three to four-year course of study.  The program is offered at universities throughout the world, but it is particularly popular at the major Indian universities and other institutions in the South Asian region.  To be eligible to participate in this program, students must possess at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, also referred to as an intermediate 10 + 2 from India’s secondary school system. 
The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Malayalam:  Course Content
The undergraduate degree in Malayalam covers a number of interesting topics.  Two of the most major areas of focus are discussed in more detail below:
  • What Is Malayalam?
  • The Development of Malayalam Literature
What Is Malayalam?

Malayalam, which belongs to the southern group of Dravidian languages, is the primary language of Kerala, a South Indian state, and also of the Lakshadweep Islands located just off the west coast of India. Speakers of this ancient language, a language which dates back to at least the 9th century, are called Malayalis.  Malayalis make up 4 percent of the Indian population, and are the principal ethnic group in the state of Kerala, accounting for 96 percent of the population in that state.  The Malayalam language ranks eighth among India’s fifteen languages, and interestingly, almost all of those that speak the language—Malayali men and women included—are literate.

Development of Malayalam Literature

The earliest written record of Malayalam is the Vazhappalli, a work that, according to its inscription, was composed in 830 AD.  From that point forward, nearly all of the early literature of Malayalam could be classified into three types of composition:
  • Classical Songs.  The classical songs composed in early Malayalam are called Pattu, songs that roughly follow the Tamil tradition.
  • Manipravalam.  Manipravalam is a type of Malayalam poetry of the Sanskrit tradition, allowing a generous interspersing of Sanskrit with Malayalam.
  • Folk Songs.  The folk songs written in early Malayalam were very rich in native elements.
The earliest known Malayalam work of extant prose is a commentary on Chanakya's Arthasastra, a work known as Bhashakautaliyam.  The piece was written in the early to mid 12th century.  In the various periods that followed, the works of both prose and poetry in the Malayalam language showed various degrees of influence from other Indian languages, including Tamil, Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrits.