The Portuguese and the Socio-Cultural Changes in Kerala (1498-1663)
"The momentous interaction between Portugal and Kerala commenced with the historic voyage of Vasco da Gama in 1498. It had lasting impact on the society of Kerala. The voyage, with the express purpose of searching for ‘Christians and Spices’, left longlasting imprint on the life of the people of Kerala. Though the Portuguese did not have political dominion in Kerala, the political influence they gained in Kerala precipitated a lot of socio-cultural changes. The intensity and degree of these changes were commensurate with the tenor of the Portuguese networking with the diverse socio-cultural traits in Kerala. Those sections of the Kerala society that gained a higher extent of interconnectedness with the Portuguese manifested a higher degree of socio-cultural transition. One of the most significant means for socio-cultural change that the Portuguese employed in Kerala was ecclesiastical legislation. This cultural interface between Portugal and Kerala resulted in multiple fissions and fusions in the society of Kerala. This book delves deep into the multifarious interaction between the two communities and the consequent socio-cultural changes that Kerala witnessed during 1498-1663, the period when Portuguese influence was at its acme.