Ancestors from Tamil Nadu and born & brought up in Kerala - from this cultural backgcultural background arose, the modern day Kerala Iyer. He considers that cleanliness is more important than Godliness. He is able to live a very religious life side by side with adapting himself to modern life. This modern man spends a part of his earnings in repair and upkeep of the temples and institutions in his village knowing really well that it is only a matter of years when there may not be any more iyers in his village. He makes it a point to go to his village every year during temple festivals in his village. He is also trying to build guesthouses in his native villages. Even in the places where he lives, he builds temples reminiscent of his village. He speaks Malayalam to his friends and talks the peculiar Palakkad Lingua in his house.
He is no more a landlord or a businessman but a white-collar worker in metropolises of India and in almost all the major industrial towns across the world. Traditionally, a Kerala Iyer is a strict vegetarian and a tea-totaller. But nowadays, he smokes and on occasions does even consume liquor along with his friends. Some even take Non vegetarian dishes, occasionally. He is very liberal outside but once he reaches his hearth, the religious beliefs of his forefathers descend on him. He brings up his children, telling them that the only property that he can leave to them is education. Because of this, generation to generation there is progress in his family status. Widow remarriages has become common in Kerala Iyer houses. Dowry is a thing of past. Unfortunately, even Divorces are becoming common.
It would be difficult to imagine how they live with these contradictions. But this is a fact and this has produced the very pleasant individual who is at peace within him and makes great contributions to his society and its culture.