Diverse Cultures of Southeast Asia
By Victoria Burke & Cassie Campos
Geography of Southeast Asia
Indian Culture Spreads to Southeast Asia
New Kingdoms and Empires Emerge
In the Kingdom of Pagan they had a fertile ride-growing land which united the region under King Anawrahta. He is credited for bringing Buddhism to the Burman people. He filled his capital city with grand stupas, or dome-shaped shrines. Pagan thrived for about 200 years after Anawrahta's death. They were then over taken by the mongols in 1287. When the Burmans fought off the mongols they looked to there past with great pride.
The Khmer Empire
Indian influences shaped the Khmer empire, which reached it peak between 800 and 1350. Its rulers controlled much of present-day Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia. The Khmer Empire adapted Indian writing, mathematics, architecture, and art. In the 1100's, King Suryavarman II built the great temple st Angkor. The ruins that still stand today are are among the most famous in the world. Hundreds of carvings glorify the king, although there are strong Indian influences, the style is uniquely Khmer.
Srivijaya Empire Flourishes
The Srivijaya empire flourished in Indonesia from the 600's to the 1200's. Srivijaya controlled the Strait of Malacca, which was vital for shipping. Both Hinduism and Buddhism influenced the empire. Later Islam spread to Sumatra, Java, and other islands. Many local leaders adopted the religion. This cemented commercial links with other Muslim trading centers.
- Indian influences outweighed Chinese influence in southeastern Asia.
- Many cultures mixed and thrived in the region
- New Kingdoms and Empires become powerful and connect together through religion and culture.
- Vietnam was the only country that had strong influence from China.
- The Chinese controlled Vietnam for over 1,000 years