Changing Image of Gulf Malayali

Author Name

Nithya K Gopi

Author Address

Research Scholar Centre for Study of Diaspora Central University of Gujarat


Gulf Migration, Image of Gulf Malayali, Saudization or Nitaqat, Recent Malayalam Fiction and Films


Migrants from Kerala state, India constitute the largest portion of Gulf migrants. Since the oil boom in gulf countries, there has been a flow of Malayali migrants to the Gulf countries, especially in the blue collar job section. After that many were successfully established in economically good position and the image of gulf Malayali corresponds with prosperity. Still people of Kerala see the Gulf countries as ‘land for prosperity’. So the images of the Gulf Malayali, both in reality and fictional space became stereotyped. But in recent times there has been a change of cliché of Gulf Malayali. The recent phenomenon of Saudization or Nitaqat is most effected reason for the change in Gulf Malayali life. Nitaqat caused for the return of malayali migrants from Saudi Arabia. And noticeably there is a shift in representation of ‘Gulf Malayali’ in Malayalam fiction as well as in movies. This paper attempts to draw two aspects related to image of the Gulf Malayali, the impact of Nitaqat on Keralites and the contrary representation of Gulf Malayali in broad sense. The first section addresses the impact of Nitaqat and related changes in social and economical condition of Kerala and the second section discusses the veiled reality of misery of the Malayali migrants, which uncovered through highly influenced book Goat Days (Aadujeevitham) by Benyamin and the films such as Khaddama  , Arabikkatha.


International Conference on Migration, Diaspora and Development
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