Diverse Cultures of Southeast Asia

Maya Morris

Georaphy of Southeast Asia

-Souteast Asia is made up of two major regions

-The first mainland includes several peninsulas that are between India and Asia

-The second region island Southeast Asia, consists of more than 20,000 islands that are scattred between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

-The mainland is separated from the rest of Asia by mountains and high plateaus.

-Mountains separated four main river valleys; Southeast Asia, Irrawadaddy, Chao Phraya, Mekong, & Red.

-All seaborne trade between China & India had to pass through either the Malacca or Sunda straits.

-Ships traveled northeast in summer & southeast in winter

-International trade network linked India, Southeast Asia, &China to East Africa & the Middle East

-The peoples of Southeast Asia developed their own cultures before Indian or Chinese influences shaped the region

-Diverse ethnic groups speaking many languages settled in Southeast Asia

-Woman had greater equality in Southeast Asia then anywhere else

-Female merchants took part in spice trade, gaining fame for their skill in bargaining, finance, & languages

-Women also had some freedom in choosing or divorcing thei marriage partners

Indian Culture Spreads to Southeast Asia

-Indian merchants & Hindu priests filitered into Southeast Asia slowly spreading their culture

-Paths of trade, & religion came the influence of writing, law, government, art, architecture, & farming

-Trade brought prosperity as merchants exchanged products such as cotton cloth, jewels, & perfume for raw materials such as timber, spices, & gold

-Indians carried a third religion, Isalm, into the region

-By the 1200s, Muslims ruled northern India

-From there, traders spread Islamic beliefs & Muslim culture throughout the islands of Indonesia and as far east as the Philippines