On January 19, 1993, a group of 19 well wishers and art lovers converged and discussed the feasibility of forming an association among the Malayalee Community in the Capital District. There were many meetings, discussions conducted over a period of time and The Capital District Malayalee Association was born. On Sunday, April 25, 1993 a five member judging committee selected CDMA’s official logo. Among 27 contestants, the judging committee unanimously adopted the design submitted by Mr. Krishnan Nair. Although CDMA has incorporated with Department of State on March 31, 1993, the official inauguration celebration was conducted on August 29, 1993 and was performed by the famous playback singer Shri. Nilamboor Karthikeyan. Members of the executive committee, under the leadership of Mr. Mathew K. Varghese, our first President and dedicated volunteers worked hard to put a plan together to achieve the association’s goal.
We had conducted many activities since its inception. Our principal objectives are to develop, promote, increase and cultivate an appreciation of Malayalee heritage through cultural, recreational and social activities; to develop friendship andunderstanding among the Keralite society; educate our culture and heritage to the young generation; to provide an opportunity for members to actively participate and take leadership of the Malayalee community and to encourage good community relations.
In the year 1995, CDMA’s first official publication KESARAM was launched. It was an achievement and masterpiece of the then executive committee for their effort and hard work. Click here to view the first version of KESARAM. Community events/announcements and many interesting articles written by the then teenagers and adults alike can be found. In the same year CDMA was registered with Governor’s Office of Ethnic Associations in New York State.
In the past, we have had many cultural activities by our young adults and children. To spread our association’s name globally and to provide our community with an opportunity to interact other Malayalee Associations nationally, CDMA stepped up on the move. We registered our association with Federation of Kerala Associations in North America(FOKANA) in the year 1997. On May 17, 1997, CDMA’s officials, under the leadership of Mr. Gangadharan Pillai, our second term President, were invited and attended FOKANA’s convention registration inauguration and reception for the then Health Minister of Kerala Hon. A. C. Shanmukha Das, hosted by Kerala Cultural Centre, Queens, New York. In the month of July 1997, the then officials and executive members of CDMA attended a joint meeting at Kerala Cultural Centre, Queens, New York, in conjunction with participating Malayalee Associations in New York State, which was hosted by FOKANA. To keep up our promise and extend our dedicated service to the community and to educate our culture and heritage to the young generation, we were again on the move. CDMA sponsored Malayalam School started in 1997 under the guidance of Gurukulam Malayalam School, White Plains New York. Mr. Joseph Mathew, Assistant Principal, New York City School District and also the Principal of Gurukulam Malayalam School inaugurated the school. There were 26 students enrolled at the beginning semester. Mrs. Annie Mathew David, Mrs. Grace Nedy, Mrs. Thresiamma Choorackal and Mrs. Jainamma Lukose were the volunteer teachers. On November 29, 1997 students, parents and teachers of the Malayalam School attended FOKANA’s regional convention at Tappan Zee High School. CDMA executive committee also attended the convention. Students performed various cultural activities, which was applauded by the audience.
Another major accomplishment was launching our first website in the year 2000 which was created by the then teenager Anish Moideen.
To increase our culture and heritage thru cultural, recreational and social activities and to develop friendship among other Indian community, CDMA brought the youngsters together and formed a youth wing “MAYURAM” under the leadership of Mr. A.T. Moideen, our fourth term president. In the month of May 2000, CDMA youth wing represented Kerala State by participating in Tricity India Association’s first Spring Festival and performed various cultural activities, which was witnessed by thousands and applauded by the entire audience. It was Malayalee community’s first entrance to the media and interaction with other Indian community.
“MAYURAM”, the acronym of Malayalee Yuva Rangam, was officially inaugurated on September 9, 2001 by Hon. A.R. Radhakrishnan, Vice Consul, Consulate General of India, New York under the auspicious presence of Fr. Stanley J. Pulprayil, Assistant Vicar, X’Pius Roman Catholic Church, Loudonville, New York. Ms. Shinu Rajan, Chief Co-coordinator, Jeremy Thaickal, Activities Coordinator and Tony Chacko, Finance Coordinator joined together with almost all Malayalee children and put their energy and effort to keep MAYURAM alive. CDMA’s main objective is to bring our culture and heritage to other community. MAYURAM members handled CDMA’s cultural activities, including the stage and floor control, in a perfect and professional way. They are an asset to CDMA.
CDMA’s seventh term president Mrs. Cuckoo Joy (2005-2006) did a great job by reviving our news letter “KESARAM”, the youth wing “MAYURAM” and the CDMA website, also started the process of establishing a charity fund “JEEVAN FUND” to extend financial assistance to the needy in Kerala.