|Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved|
Many of the local people I spoke with, and photographed, were Muslims, descendants of the Arab merchants who propagated their faith along the Malabar Coast. A significant community was created through the marriage of local women to these Arab sailors, and are still known as the Mappilas or Moplahs. The Arabs merchants and mariners are believed to come from the Red Sea coastal areas, and from the Hadramaut region of Yemen.
The banana seller was probably one of those. A few words of Arabic greetings were exchanged, and he exhibited the traditional hospitality and generosity of Arabs extended to visitors and guests by offering me some bananas from the many clusters hanging in his modest stall. Small and sweet, these were certainly tastier than any available in Western supermarkets.