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Message from the founder Editor, The PalmLeafs

We as Keralites, are the custodians of a rich, vibrant and colourful cultural heritage. This heritage spans various fields ranging from art to architecture, language to literature, and, martial arts to music. We have the moral duty to hand over that heritage to the next generation on behalf of the one hundred generations that came and went before our time. The question now is, while being an active part of the British society, how much of the heritage can be handed over to future generations and in what form.p>

In this respect, there is no point in pretending to be half-pregnant and argue either way according to the occasion. No one can deny the power of the past in shaping the future. At the same time, there is no point in thinking like a general who is preparing to win the last war he lost. Let us be pragmatic about it. No one can realistically expect the second generation Keralites in the UK to live exactly like the first generation. Time has moved on. Each generation has its own hopes and aspirations. Let us look to the future.p>

So what are the elements of Kerala culture we wish to hand over to the future generations? It has been an accepted fact that the moral values and virtues of the Eastern society - humanity, propriety, faithfulness and wisdom - re-inforces the inner strength of human mind. This is an area the Western society has come to accept the intellectual superiority of Eastern philosophies. On a more practical level, these values define our day-to-day relationships - parent and child, husband and wife and, friend and friend.p>

How do we generate awareness of these ethics in the next generation? It is obvious that bombarding the youngsters with advice will be counter-productive. Only if they learn these values themselves, they will have a commitment to applying them in their lives. How will they learn these valves themselves? The role of environment and peer-groups becomes significant; the ability to understand Indian art and literature becomes important; the ability to read the language, Malayalam, becomes a necessity.p>

We present the first issue of The Palm Leaf before you in the hope that you will see it as a channel to discuss and debate these issues. We also hope that we will collectively be able to overcome the historical Indian weakness, of debating about everything under the sun without paying much attention to turning ideas into practical actions. p>

Dr. Viswamitran, Editor, The Palmleaf (1996-2000)

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