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Kudumbi

The meaning of «kudumbi»

The Kudumbi, also referred to as the Kunubis, the Kurumbi, or Kurmi, or the Kunbi, are traditionally a Konkani-speaking farming community residing in Kerala, India.[1][2] The majority of the group are farmers, laborers, and petty workers, settled across central and southern Kerala. Kudumbis are part of the larger Kunbi–Kurmi diaspora, a generic farming community spread out over India, with the probable exception of only Jammu and Kashmir.

Kudumbis are innately hardworking, sincere, humble and god-fearing people. Many are expert in Pandal or tent erection work. Many temples use their service during the annual festivals. Kudumbis living around the Kerala backwaters are involved in large scale Shrimp farming,fishing and working in commercial aquaculture farms .Even though they are coming under Other backward /Eligible community in the Kerala, generally their social backwardness remains unnoticed.

In 1956 when the unified Kerala state was formed under the republic of India, the education fee concessions of Cochin kudumbis where also extended to Travancore and Malabar regions of the state.For the last two decades the community has progressed educationally and financially, thanks to educational concessions granted by the State Government. The community enjoys the job reservation coming under the Other Backward Classes OBC / SEBC. There are many Govt. servants, few of them holding high posts in various Departments. There are now many engineers,few doctors, leading Advocates and Ph.D. scholars from the community. Some of the young Kudumbi IT professionals are found working in USA, UK, Australia etc in reputed MNC. The community is socially in upfront, competing with other mainstream communities to improve their social and economic status. In fact there are few elected representatives in various Gram panchayats, Block panchayats and Municipal Corporations, especially in the localities where the community has a decisive voting majority.

According to Goan historian Anant Ramakrishna Dhume, the Kunbi caste are modern descendants of ancient Mundari tribes. In his work, Dhume mentions several words of Mundari origin in the Konkani language and also elaborates on the deities worshipped by the ancient tribe, their customs, methods of farming, etc.[3] The Portuguese, who ruled over Goa for over 500 years, considered the Kunbi, Velip and Gowada communities as Tribu, which means tribes. The Central Government failed to extend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order 1950 to the Union Territory of Goa, Daman, and Diu immediately after the liberation of Goa in 1961 and that was perceived as an injustice by many.[4][5] Kunbis are included in ST list in Goa state in 2002.[citation needed] G. S. Ghurye says that "Kurmi, Kanbi and Kunbi perhaps signify the occupation of the group, viz., that of cultivation, though it is not improbable that the name may of tribal origin."[6]

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