Nestling on the sea-board of Karnataka State is the city of Mangalore, the headquarters of Dakshina Kannada, one of the two maritime districts of Karnataka. It has been described by the Indian Nightingale, Sarojini Naidu, as “a garden city hidden under coconut groves”.

The People of South Kanara:  
Man is the child of his environment. He is very much made by his geographical setting. In order to know the people of South Kanara, their character, outlook and reactions, one should study their natural environment, the forces that have shaped them.

South Kanara Geographically:  
It is a fine stretch of land having an area of 3639 sq. miles beautifully sandwiched between the Arabian Sea in the West and the Western Ghats in the East and stretching from the Talpady River in the South to Shiroor Byndoor in the North. It is an area running all round the foot of the Ghats and sloping towards the Sea, the straight flight from the Ghats to the sea at the broadest part of the strip being 50 miles. The coastal strip is flat but it is studded with hillocks of various heights ranging up to 600ft. above sea level. There are numerous rivers flowing from the ghats which serve as a source of irrigation. South Karana can be said to be the belt of heavy rains.

Uniqueness of the South Kanarite:  
Every human being is unique, so also a nation or a state. No casual visitor going round South Kanara, can fail to observe the unique features of the  place and the people. The first thing one notes is that the houses are not clustered together. They are spread about, built usually on raised ground near fields or coconut gardens. The villages are not densely populated; they are made up of comparatively few houses with wellmarked boundaries and compound walls. This has its own influence on the people. They meet less frequently and depend on their own, to face life. They are reserved. This does not mean that they are less social or indifferent. They relate fully with their neighbours and profit from the experience of others. But they are resourceful, independent in their thinking, and endowed with the gift of forethought. Providing for the monsoons is perhaps one reason why so many banking systems originated in this small area, a concrete desire to provide for the tomorrow. People are progressive and industrious, and even those who may not have much formal education, maintain a good standard of living and earn respectable positions both in and outside their own districts.

The whole area is well united by a very good system of transport and communication. Private bus companies have provided good traveling facilities. This has helped to spread the influence of urbanization and civilization into the remote villages. One does not find any totally neglected areas in South Kanara. Even in the villages there is an awareness of what takes place in the larger world, a desire for self-improvement, an effort to attain a higher standard of living.

The Industrialization of the district on modern lines is in progress. Several small scale industries have developed. Sea wealth is being explored as an export commodity. The New All-Weather Port, the Fertilizer Complex and the Kudremukh Iron Ore Project have heightened the tempo of industrialization. But they also created an imbalance in the socio-economic pattern prevailing at present.

The District is largely agricultural. Small holdings, frequent partition and fragmentation and wet fields do not easily permit mechanization of agriculture. What one finds deep-rooted is a thirst to possess a piece of  ancestral land. The greater number of people were tenants. But the Land Reform Act changed the situation.

There is no one culture, or one caste or creed in South Kanara, but to a large extent there is a harmonious blending of people of different walks of life and beliefs. People mix together in social and religious activities, though they hold on to their own traditional worship and living. The breeze of modern, materialistic culture has paved the way to greater emotional integration.



Contact Us

Tanzania Mission Africa:

The Society of Mangalore Africa Mission®,  
P. O. Box 113, Mwanga,
Kilimanjaro Region,
East Africa

Mangalore Office:

Bishop's House
Kodialbail Post- 575 003
Karnataka State

+255 756412278 / 0758437984 +91 824 2440524
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