Southeast Asian Culture

967 Words4 Pages
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has often been described as an aggrupation of countries rich in cultural diversity. Geographically, Southeast Asia is a collection of countries found at the crossroads of East, South and West Asia and influenced by the rich fusion of cultures of its neighboring countries. Beneath this richness and diversity, ASEAN shares a common cultural history. ASEAN peoples have been exposed to various influences from people inside and outside the region. The presence of different influences in early Southeast Asia has successfully enriched the indigenous practices, arts, traditions and culture of ASEAN countries. For this paper, I will be focusing on the influences of India, which I believe has the greatest impact…show more content…
The best example is the towers of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, which were names after Mount Meru, the home of the gods believed in Indian myth to lie at the center of the world (Dalrymple, W. 2015). Ankor and Borobudur in Indonesia, though they were influenced by Indian culture, they have their own native aesthetic concepts and had portrayed important characters unique in the history of their respective countries.

In terms of Religion, India had a major influence by means of the Buddhist, which was dominant in much of Asia prior to the rise of Islam. India is said to be the only major region in the world to have produced and exported one of the major world religions, which is Buddhism. Emperor Ashoka from India sent Buddhist emissaries to Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malay Peninsula and Vietnam. In Thailand, Buddhism has been the backbone of cultural development in terms of architecture, sculpture, literature and painting. In ASEAN in general, Buddhism was localized, re-created and diffused again.

Language and Writings
We can notice the influence of classical language of India on Southeast Asian languages and scripts. Sanskrit became the language of government, court and
…show more content…
The national language of Indonesia, Bahasa, is full of Sanskrit words. The five cardinal points of the Indonesian constitution are also designated by the Sanskrit Word Panchashila. Streams are also named after famous Indian rivers such as Ganga, Sindhu. The country name Cambodia, was called Kambuja, was a well-known town in ancient India. In Burma, the names of rivers are Sanskrit names. The head of state known as Adipadi is the Sanskrit Adhaipati meaning chief executive. In the Philippines, the most extensive evidences of Indian influences in the Philippines are Sanskrit elements in the languages of the country and have been fully assimilated into the speech systems (Francisco, J. 1965). There are about 336 words in Philippine languages which are recognizably Sanskrit in origin. Some significant Sanskrit barrowings are bathala, diwata, diwa, likha, sampalataya, hari,

More about Southeast Asian Culture

Open Document