Defining South East Asia

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Defining South East Asia

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:19 am

A New Definition for Southeast Asia
July 2, 2019
By: Philip Bowring, YaleGlobal

Austronesian Asia? Nusantaria? These are not familiar terms. Yet they define the common bonds of some 400 million people whose ancestors for several millennia occupied the islands and nearby coasts more commonly known as “Maritime Southeast Asia.” These terms now cover most of Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia and once included Taiwan and much of the coast of Vietnam with old links across the Indian Ocean to Madagascar. This is a region with its own identity separate from mainland Asia.

“Maritime Southeast Asia” is a recent, western-derived geographical term linked to neither culture nor history. Austronesian Asia, on the other hand, defines the language group into which all the region’s major languages fall – Malay, Javanese, Tagalog, Visayan and many local variations. Nusantaria is an extension of “Nusantara,” the Sanskrit term used to describe the island realm of the Java-based Majapahit Empire and in modern Malay refers to the Indonesian archipelago. Today it includes the Philippines and has historic links to Taiwan, Vietnam, the Marianas and Madagascar.

This region has many characteristics which set it apart from mainland Asia and have provided it with a common identity. Today this identity is more often than not submerged by national focus on recently created modern states, or on religious divides created by the rival, imported Semitic religions, Christianity and Islam, which now predominate. But the identity is never far below the surface...
Full aricle: https://www.asiasentinel.com/society/ne ... east-asia/
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