To Top

United in Record Breaking

Post saved!

India is a country known for its vivid diversity. Although there are stereotypes about gender, the Kerala Dancereconomy, and religion, the Indian culture actually features many traditions of empowerment, especially for women. One of the most empowering practices is the kaikottikali dance, which is native to the south Indian state of Kerala. This dance is performed by women during the festival season of Onam. It symbolizes beauty, happiness, grace, and elegance, also known as “iasya.” Performed by all ages, from small girls to elderly women, the kaikottikali dance is a celebration of the female presence.

In its true liberating fashion, the kaikottikali dance is becoming a more inclusive practice representative of the community’s demographic. On February 2nd, 2015 the kaikottikali dance gained global attention when a small town in Kerala set the Guinness World Record for the largest organized kaikottikali dance in history, with 5,211 women participating in the dance. Their 10-month journey, however, to setting that record is one of breaking social, economic, and religious boundaries.

In spite of the female predominance in the dance, men and women worked hand in hand to achieve the world record. In addition to the thousands of women dancers, Idavela Babu (male actor and organizer), Jitha Binoy (female choreographer), and various men and women on the Thanima committee (the cultural arts organization which sponsored the event) worked together to orchestrate this amazing feat. Thomas Unniyadan, Kerala Congress leader and key organizer of the event, said it has “helped in showcasing the cultural unity that is there in Kerala.”

Although originally a Hindu tradition, the dance has taken a more inclusive form and now acts as a cultural symbol to all Keralites, regardless of religion. The record-breaking kaikottikali dance even took place on the grounds of Christ College, a Christian institution. It further displayed India’s beautiful diversity in its performers, who varied in age, religion, and economic backgrounds.

The kaikottikali dance is also a symbol of equality. The use of the same off-white and gold garment along with the emphasis on precise synchronization demonstrates the importance of unity. The sight of more than 5,000 women of various backgrounds moving in perfect time and wearing matching outfits created an especially powerful message of equality.

The success of this record-breaking dance is a product of the combined efforts of men and women in spite of their differences. From tradition to the present, the kaikottikali dance is a testament to the empowering unity of south Indian society.

Title Image Source

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Badass Women

  • Tattooing the World as a Woman

    Because this past season of Ink Master, a tattooing-aptitude competition, crowned Ryan Ashley as the first female winner of the show,...

    Diba BijariMarch 28, 2017
  • Not the Only Woman in the Workplace

    Jan Plutzer is the chief operating officer for Apcera, a container management platform for cloud-native and legacy applications.

    Ariana KraftMarch 28, 2017
  • Patricia Arquette: Stop the Robbery

    One actress from the award-winning film Boyhood is making a global stand for womanhood.

    Alyssa McGillveryMarch 27, 2017
  • Serena and Venus Turn to Dad When Faced with Trouble

    The prestigious Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament near Palm Springs, California was something Serena Williams had always looked forward to.

    Rachel MideyMarch 24, 2017
  • The Good Breast: the Battle Never Ends

    The emotional and physical battle that one experiences after being diagnosed with cancer is unimaginable to those who have never personally...

    Brielle WagnerMarch 24, 2017
  • The Future is Female

    Women’s history is not the only thing Brooklyn-based writer Mya Kagan wanted the world to celebrate this March.

    Brielle WagnerMarch 23, 2017
  • The Woman Upgrading the Tech Industry

    Slack, the team collaboration and communication tool, is not slacking off on gender equality anymore.

    Alyssa McGillveryMarch 23, 2017
  • Anne Hathaway Explains Hollywood’s Problem

    Anne Hathaway recently spoke to Elle Magazine about her husband, her experiences filming Ocean’s  Eight, an upcoming film featuring a cast predominantly composed...

    Samantha SontagMarch 22, 2017
  • Saving Lives, One Heart at a Time

    One of the few female heart surgeons in the United States, Dr.

    Jenna SalisburryMarch 21, 2017
  • Selena Gomez Gives to Lupus Research

    “Good for You” singer Selena Gomez is doing just that, having recently made a generous donation to a cause that lies...

    Alyssa McGillveryMarch 20, 2017
  • What is a Tomboy?

    “Sports gives you something you can call your own.

    Rachel MideyMarch 17, 2017
  • Not Your Typical Soldiers

    In 1949, the Israel Defense Forces became the first military in the world to require mandatory service from both men and...

    Alyssa McGillveryMarch 16, 2017
  • Understanding the Benefits of Gender Equality

    Catherine Mayer, one of the co-founders of the Women’s Equality Party, plays an active role in the movement towards equality in...

    Samantha SontagMarch 15, 2017
  • The Last Word: Starring Strong-Willed Women

    Mark Pellington is the director of The Last Word, a film that encompasses the roles of strong-willed women.

    Ariana KraftMarch 15, 2017
  • A Physicist Inspires Female Scientists

    Theoretical physicist and professor at Harvard University, Lisa Randall is making incredible breakthroughs in the disciplines of particle physics and cosmology,...

    Jenna SalisburryMarch 14, 2017