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Kerala's Kozhikode celebrates UNESCO's 'City of Literature' title

A batch of students of NIT-C department of architecture and planning did the study as part of their academic work in 2023 which culminated in Kozhikode receiving the title. Kozhikode is among the 55 cities to be included in UNESCO's 'City of Literature'. There are around 300 other cities from different countries that are included in the Creative cities network of UNESCO.
Last Updated : 23 June 2024, 09:53 IST

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kozhikode in north Kerala, which is home to many literary luminaries like S K Pottekkatt, Vaikom Muhammad Basheer and M T Vasudevan Nair, and has around 70 publishing houses releasing up to 500 books every year and boasts of around 550 libraries, is being formally declared as UNESCO's 'City of Literature' on Sunday.

It was a work done by a batch of students of National Institute of Technology, Calicut that helped the city get the tag in last December. Kerala local self-government minister M B Rajesh made the formal declaration on Sunday.

The literary history of Kozhikode dates back to the 14th century. The city has been organising major literary festivals over the years attracting literary enthusiasts from within the country and outside. Huge participation of locals at literary festivals of Kozhikode too vindicates the city's bonding with literature. Every major spot of the city like the SM Street, popularly known as 'Mittayi theruvu' have memorials of the literary luminaries of Kozhikode.

Apart from Pottekkatt, Basheer and Vasudevan Nair, other known writers of Kozhikode include Thikkodiyan, N N Kakkad, U A Khader and M N Karassery.

UNESCO also considered various initiatives in Kozhikode to extend the role of literature in urban development and to strengthen citizen involvement. SecondPen, a forum of writers from the medical profession, as well as many such initiatives to promote literature among the citizens and effort to safeguard the city's literary heritage were also considered by UNESCO.

A batch of students of NIT-C department of architecture and planning did the study as part of their academic work in 2023 which culminated in Kozhikode receiving the title.

According to NIT-C head of department of architecture and planning Mohammed Firoz, who guided the students, no other cities could boast of such a network of libraries, and publishers.

Kozhikode is among the 55 cities to be included in UNESCO's 'City of Literature'. There are around 300 other cities from different countries that are included in the Creative cities network of UNESCO.

Kozhikode city mayor Beena Philip said that efforts would be made to organise literary events in association with other cities in the network.

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Published 23 June 2024, 09:53 IST

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