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malayalam monday – seasons edition


It has been a steamy couple of days in NY, so I figured I would try to learn what the names of the different seasons in Malayalam.  Research is showing that it isn’t as simple as English.  There seem to be multiple names for each season and because Kerala doesn’t have four distinct seasons like the Northeast US, I don’t know how accurately it matches.  If anyone out there knows, please help out.

springvasantham, vasanthakaalam
Never heard of it.

summervenal, ushnnakam, nidaagham, naidaagham
I think I’ve heard ushnakalaam, and since I’m pretty sure ushnam means sweating, I think it literally translates to “time of sweat.”  How apt!

autumnkaalaprabhaatham, sarathu
Never heard of either.

winterhemanthakaalam, saithyakaalam, sisirakaalam.
I’d probably use hemanthakaalam, since I’m pretty sure it comes from the word for snow – himam – which I remember from the translation of “Are You Washed” (“himam pol nishkalangamo…”)

Now, how to use these in a sentence…Ippol ivide ____kalaam ayi?  Now it’s ____ time here?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 2009-04-28 2:01 AM

    i always thought sishiram meant autumn…and winter was manjukaalam..

    • 2009-04-28 11:12 AM

      Hi Mathew. I never heard of sishiram, but sounds good to me. Do you know the history of the word?

      Manjukalaam! That’s right! Thanks.

  2. 2009-04-29 12:43 PM


    I came by here because I found your link on my “followers” list. What an honour!

    Being a “mallu” myself , I know for a fact that ‘ushnakaalam’ is the perfect word for Summer in Kerala!

    Here’s a funny anecdote. Although I am a Malayali by descent, I have never lived in Kerala and therefore know very little Malayalam. I had always sung “Are you washed” as “Sheenam pol nishkalangam o…” HA HA!! Thanks for letting me know the right word and its meaning!!!

    • 2009-04-29 7:40 PM

      I LOVE your story, scatterbrain. I’ve never lived in Kerala either, so I can definitely relate to singing the wrong words to songs…let me see if I can think of some examples for a future post!

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