Neyyappam: Why is everyone now talking about this Kerala sweet?

neyyappam Neyyappam is deep fried Kerala snack made from rice flour, jaggery and ghee | via Commons
  • There has been a spirited campaign online to make Google name the latest Android version neyyappam, ever since the company announced this month that it was going for a poll to select a name.

Google is gearing up to launch its latest version of Android and suddenly everyone is talking about neyyappam, a crispy-yet-spongy golden-brown confectionery whose familiarity was so far restricted to the households in Kerala.

There has been a spirited social media campaign to make Google name the latest Android version after the Kerala dessert, ever since the company announced this month that it was going for a poll to select a name.

Google has opened a website for people to suggest names and it has only one condition—that the name should be that of a dessert and start with the letter 'N'. The #NameAndroidN website allows anyone to participate till June 9, 12:29 pm IST.

Google uses a confectionery theme on an alphabetical order to signify major new versions of Android, since its third release in 2009. The first two versions were simply called Alpha and Beta. The first version to be named after a dessert was Cupcake, followed by Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream-Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop and Marshmallow.

Now, it is about time for the 14th release and a name that is suggested by the maximum number of users could very well be its name, although Google reserves the right to pick any name it prefers.

The idea for a crowd-sourced name is believed to have struck Google CEO Sundar Pichai when he visited India earlier this year. On the second day of his first visit to his home-country after taking over as Google CEO, Pichai was asked by a student whether the next version of the Android can be named after an Indian dessert.

A smiling Pichai said he would ask his mother for suggestions or, perhaps, start an online poll.

The name neyyappam has become a rage on the internet ever since a Bangalore-based Malayali app developer kicked off an online campaign, according to a report. Given the fact that 'The #NameAndroidN' website features this delicacy made of rice flour, jaggery and ghee prominently on its homepage, there is optimism among Keralites that neyyappam is leading the race.

However, it has had some stiff competition from within India and abroad. Initially, every Bengali sweet starting with the letter 'N' like nankhatai and naru were doing the rounds, but they soon fizzled out. Mexican dish nachos and Japanese delicacy noru are the other seemingly prominent names in race with Neyyappam, besides nougat, nectar, nectarine and even 'narshmallow'.

The Kerala tourism department too has thrown its weight behind the online campaign, urging people to vote for neyyappam on its Twitter handle. So, what are you waiting for?

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Topics : #Google | #Neyyappam

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