As a result
of successive waves of migration over the course of several
centuries, the population of the city is a mix of people from
all parts of Kerala and most of India. The pan-Indian nature
is highlighted by the substantial presence of various ethnic
communities from different parts of the country. Kochi has a
diverse, multicultural, and secular community consisting of
Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists among
other denominations, all living in peaceful co-existence.
once had a large Jewish community, known as the Malabar
Yehuden—and now increasingly as Cochin Jews—that figured
prominently in Kochi's business and economic strata.The Syro-Malabar
Church, one of the 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches, has
its seat at Ernakulam. Prominent places of worship include the
St. Mary's Cathedral Baslica and the St. Antony's Shrine in
Kaloor. Appropriate to its multi-ethnic composition, Kochi
celebrates traditional Kerala festivals like Onam and Vishu
along with North Indian Hindu festivals like Holi and Diwali
with great fervour. Christian and Islamic festivals like
Christmas, Easter, Eid ul-Fitr and Milad-e-sherif are also
celebrated. A merry making fest called the Cochin Carnival is
celebrated at Fort Kochi during the last ten days of December.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi is one of the largest
multi-use stadiums in IndiaResidents of Kochi are known as
Kochiites; they are an important part of the South Indian
culture. However, the city's culture is rapidly evolving, with
Kochiites generally becoming more cosmopolitan in their
outlook. The people are also increasingly
fashion-conscious, often deviating from the traditional Kerala
wear to western clothing.
Kochiites generally partake of Keralite cuisine, which is
generally characterised by an abundance of coconut and spices.
Other South Indian cuisines, as well as Chinese and North
Indian cuisines are popular. Fast food culture is also very
Kochi was home to some of the most influential figures in
Malayalam literature, including Changampuzha Krishna Pillai,
Kesari Balakrishna Pillai, G. Sankara Kurup, and Vyloppilli
Sreedhara Menon. Prominent social reformers such as Sahodaran
Ayyappan and Pandit Karuppan also are from Kochi.
The Maharajas of Kochi (then Cochin) were scholars who knew
the epics and encouraged the arts. The paintings at the Hill
Palace and the Dutch Palace are testimony to their love.
Kochiites are known for their enthusiasm in sports, especially
cricket and football. The Jawaharlal Nehru International
Stadium in Kochi is one of the largest multi-use stadiums in
India with International Class Lighting for Day and Night
Matches.The Regional Sports Centre is an important centre of
sporting activity in the city.