I have heard this question many times and it amazes me that people still have to ask this. Am I not the living breathing proof of this? Why do you have to look further? Anyway, I am going try and explain this so pay attention.
First things first, you gotta visit the place. Kerala is a special place - Discovery Channel has nominated it as one of the ten most beautiful places in the world. You name it, you'll get it here - lakes, rivers, beaches, temples, churches, elephants, ayurveda, hill stations, kalaripayattu, kathakali, festivals, food... the list is endless. When you drive from one place to another, you will be amazed at the greenery and the sights you'll pass. Even after knowing the place so well, I still stop and take in something striking like green fields swaying in the breeze or elephants parading outside a grand temple. Obviously such a special place will have special people eh!!!
A word of caution - please ignore the eyesores that people working in the 'Gelf' have constructed as homes; they are big, gaudy and a complete waste of money.
Now, I have a lot of mallu friends and have found a few traits that are common. One of them can be clearly defined with a Malayalam word 'paradushanam' - loosely transalated as 'discussing faults of others'. We are all observant people especially of the faults and shortcomings in others (it could be because no one comes up to us). So when a couple of us meet up, we tend to analyse people, events, relationships and come out with explanations. This is always done with a degree of humour and sarcasm and there are many masters to this fine art. So please beware when the majority of the group are Mallus as it may turn into a Paradushana Committee.
However, we are good people to hang out with. A good sense of humour, intelligent and a fondness to listen to our own voices makes it easy for us to attract people around us (wonder why is it not working with the chicks). So when you are throwing a party ensure that there is a good mix of mallus and non-mallus and everyone will have a good time. Of course, you will need more booze and non-veg snacks to fill us up but hey, it will be remembered as a rocking party. Also, we are the usually the last to leave (since the booze got over) so please warn the neighbours.
Single women beware, a Malayalee man is a proud man and hence will not help in the house-work. He is clear that he will bring in the money and support y'all but cleaning, cooking and washing are definitely low on his priority list. Of course, directions will be provided on how to improve your skills in these aspects but before you throw the knife or chapathi belan you are using, remember that man-slaughter will get you life imprisonment so concentrate on the good parts mentioned in the above para.
Some of the things that make me proud are that we are a 100% literate state. However, this has made a lot of the people in the state lazy and unwilling to do manual labour as a result of which it is expensive to get any kind of help in the house and people from other states are taking up these jobs. Conversely, malayalees outside the state are usually hard-working and pretty good at what they do. We have been the butt of jokes for our special accent. The old ones have been repeated so often that it is now painful and every new joke that comes up has to be cracked in our presence. Also, malayalees are generally peaceful folks and dont bother others too much apart from their curiosity and this makes them peaceful to stay and hang out with (provided you break in as we are a bit clannish)
So Mallus everywhere, give yourself a pat on the back as you deserve it and Non-mallus, try and hook up with one of us and we will show you some 'special times' ;-)