Ooty Culture: India, the land of different cultures. You step out of your front door and you will hear a dozen different languages than your own. Yet they are all Indian in their own way. A harmonious co-existence of people from different back grounds and different traditions. So why should Ooty, being a part of India, be any different? You find people from different parts of the country living there. People from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh make up a major chunk of the local population.
Ooty culture has been heavily influenced by the presence of these migrants. Although Tamil is the main language and also widely spoken, you will rarely come across a local who cannot speak Kannada and Malayalam as well. Tulu is also spoken by a small section of the population. Telugu has also become popular in recent times. Due to the heavy influence of tourists all round the year the people have also become quite fluent in English. Hindi is also spoken by a small cross section of the society but with their strong accent it might be a little difficult to follow. Then you have the local tribes who have been living in Ooty since time immemorial. They follow a distinct culture of their own.
Despite a heavy outside influence they still celebrate their own set of festivals and follow their own traditions with as much gaiety and fervor as they used to and the whole city joins them in their celebrations. Well, when you come to think of it, it is not so different in any other part of India. But for the people of Ooty even small happiness in their lives is one big celebration. A big celebration where all are invited. Life is one big party for them. From a sleepy little town Ooty has changed a lot over the years. Small scale industries like weaving have added important value to the society and economy.
With heavy income inflow throughout the year, mainly from tourism, the standard of living of people have considerably improved over the years. Over the years Ooty has become an important education hub in South India as well. With all this modernization going on and people slowly getting adapted to a city life, one might expect not to find much of the old glamour and charm that once existed. No sir. You are wrong. Nothing comes at the cost of your individuality. And nothing comes at the cost of Mother Nature as well.
Although a lot of improvement and modernization is happening in Ooty all the steps are taken keeping in mind the delicate eco system. The people know how important it is to preserve the ecology around them. The normally calm, cheerful and friendly people will be at arms if they find anybody tampering with nature around them. So be sure to stay on their good books and not to throw any plastic or such waste carelessly around. As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry, or embarrassed in this case.