Kairali of Syracuse is a community organization of the expatriates of Kerala origin living in Syracuse and its surrounding cities. Kerala is a state that belongs to the southern part of India. Keralites are also known as Malayalees (those who speak Malayalam, the language of the 40 million inhabitants of the state of Kerala).
As its constitution states Kairali is a not-for-profit, non-political and non-religious organization to provide a common platform to its members to coordinate cultural, educational, social, economic, and civic and community affairs of the people of Kerala origin. The organization has been an active presence among the Malayali community of Syracuse for the past few decades. The organization binds the community together through its activities and provides a great platform for its younger generation to know its roots and express its talents. Established and nourished by some of the early residents of Central New York, Kairali continues to grow with leadership and contributions from its member circle that keeps expanding.
Kairali conducts two major annual programs, one during Onam, Kerala’s biggest traditional festival and the other during Christmas. The programs serve as reunions where the members meet, stage cultural events and enjoy traditional feasts prepared by members of the community. In addition Kairali organizes a spring time get together around the time of Kerala’s traditional Vishu festival and Easter. Members reminisce and relive festivities they enjoyed as children in their homeland while the newer generation gets to explore different dimensions of the culture and traditions they are linked to. A summertime picnic for the community members is another highlight of Kairali’s annual activities. The events are organized and managed by an elected committee that is an excellent cross section of the community.
Kairali has enjoyed the patronage and contributions of non-Malayalees also over the years and the organization works closely with other Indian community organizations of the region.
Kairali has been a welcoming haven for many a Keralite who has moved to the Syracuse region for education and employment by offering the warmth of a community through its programs and publications all through its existence. Kairali maintains and distributes a directory of Malayali families living in the area and its quarterly newsletters keep members abreast of upcoming events as well as serving as an outlet for the literary talents of the young and the old. Though a relatively small organization with fewer than a hundred families associated with it Kairali’s output often measures up to that of far bigger and better funded community organizations across North America. Kairali also makes the best use of modern social media to keep its members connected. The enthusiasm and involvement of the American born generation of Malayalees ensures that this organization will continue to flourish in the years to come.