Diverse Cultures of Southeast Asia
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