Coconut and communism
What do coconut and communism have in common? Apart from starting with co- not much, even a google search for these two terms together doesn’t yield any meaningful result (aside from some Cuban recipes). In Kerala though, they do: coconut trees and communist flags as are ubiquitous as pigeons in London (or any other ubiquitous comparison you might like). It won’t come as a surprise that a coastal, tropical area like Kerala is dotted with palm tress but not everybody knows that Kerala had one of the first elected communist government in the world, in 1957 (the second actually, the first being the one elected in San Marino in 1945. Everybody is always forgetting San Marino: I’ve also heard this story of it being forgotten in the peace treaties following WWII so in theory San Marino is still at war… but I couldn’t find any evidence of this story online so don’t take my words for granted).
Wether the positive influence of communism, the remittance money from the huge expatriate community abroad, or the initial trade with the first European colonisers, Kerala is sure a rich area (or at least it looks so), especially compared to other Indian states: it has one of the lowest birthrates of India (yes, this is often taken as an indicator of “development”), coupled with a literacy rate of about 100% (everybody with at least a pen in their shirt pocket (a sign of being cultivated in India…) is very proud of this figure) and it has one of the highest income per capita of the country. One category that I’m pretty sure is not taking advantage of this wealth and development are for sure coconut tree climbers: their work is strenuous and dangerous but they make for a brilliant subject.
And what has this picture to do with the rest of the post?
Not much (but you can see one palm tree in the background).
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