If we ask a student of class nine studying in North India,'Where is Quillon and what language is spoken there', I can vouchsafe that 70 % children will not be able to answer this question. Out of the 30% who answer the question another half may not know which language is spoken there.Similarly the students in South India will not be familiar with Bhatinda or Rewari, towns of Northern India. Leave aside children, even many adults are unaware of the languages spoken in many parts of the country. The people do not distinguish between Tamil, Telugu, Malyalam and Kannada. For them all are Madrasis. I will confine myself to Kerala and the North.
People staying in South India believe that people staying on Northern side of Vindhyas are Punjabis. Similarly people in the North of India have a belief that every one across the Vindhya is a Madrasi. A North Indian girl told her mother that she wanted to marry a Keralite. The mother immediately reacted"Will you marry a Madrasi?" The daughter corrected ,"No Mom, he is not a Madrasi. He is a Keralite".The mother's reply was unique, "It is one and the same".
Regarding food habits also the notions formed have no base. In the North I have seen that even educated people have the impression that Idli, Dosa and Sambaar comprise the staple food.of South Indians. They don't want to agree that these items are taken for breakfast or as a snack. In the South there is a similar opinion about 'Chole Bhature'..
An interesting thing is that in the towns and cities of North, people will not agree to let out their property to 'Punjabis'. An opinion has been formed that Punjabis are quarrelsome and they will neither give rent in time nor vacate the property easily. They prefer a "Madrasi" because he is harmless. How such a notion has spread, is beyond any rationale.
However they have a similar stand on one issue. They believe that husband is an Avtara(God) to be placed on a higher pedestal,. Both sides are 'one 'and have a common belief in this case. They never address their husband by his name. In Kerala women call their husbands 'Chettan', which means brother(I do not understand the reason for addressing. ) and 'Nokoo' (Look). Punjabi women address their spouses as 'Dekho', 'Suno" or " Pappu ke papa" and so on. This form of addressing is slowly being replaced by the first name of the husband.
What is your experience of mingling with the people of the two States.?
Note this post is not directed towards any particular person . No offence meant.