Essay About Southeast Asia

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Defining Southeast Asia as a region poses several problems. One would first notice how culturally, politically, physically and economically diverse Southeast Asia is throughout its 11 nations but this is exactly what that makes Southeast Asia problematic as a region to define. Whilst most regions are common and bound together religiously, historically or by language origins, the nations of Southeast Asia lacks in commonality due to its vast diversity. Southeast Asia is problematic because it is made up of many countries of diverse backgrounds. Colonization of the region by different colonial masters resulted in differing impacts in social practices by different colonial masters. It also led the countries to become close to their colonial rulers compared to their neighbours in trade making it difficult for them to bond together as a region. Even when Southeast Asia is characterized by high economic growth, barely 20% of their trade is intra-regional. Different Southeast Asian nations were ruled by various colonial masters in the past contributing to its vast diversity. Malaya and Singapore was under the British control while the Spanish controlled the Philippines, and the Dutch ruled over Indonesia, and Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia was under French control though Vietnam was ruled separately from Laos and Cambodia. These led to varying impacts left by the colonial masters.

Religion is an vital segment of Southeast Asia. With the vastly diverse practice of religions throughout Southeast Asia, not one country shares a same common religion and no countries in Southeast Asia are religiously homogenous.

Hinduism in Southeast Asia
Hinduism originated in India from where it spread to Southeast Asia and other parts of the world such a...

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...e moral philosopher, Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC). It is a set of complex beliefs that emphasizes on harmony, stability, common consensus, hierarchy and authority. But unlike Hinduism or Buddhism it has no priesthood or formal ritual. Confucian ideas still have a profound effect in Vietnam, Singapore and among Chinese throughout the region.

These are the various complexities that hinders the process of defining Southeast Asia as a region. Yet it is not very hard to find commonalities and links between each factor and organizations such as ASEAN has brought the region together and bond. In spite of being vastly diverse in terms of culture, politics, physique or even economic, all these complexities are influenced my one common thing which are all somehow linked and play a great role and influencing and shaping the Southeast Asia we see now and define it as a region.

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