History of South East Asia

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Location

South East Asia, a sub region of Asia located in both eastern and northern hemispheres, has been subjected to years of colonial rule. This region is composed of many different countries, including Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Singapore. To the north is China and to the west of Burma is India. Most of South East Asia is located in the Indian Ocean including smaller seas like Andaman Sea, South China Sea, and Philippine Sea. Indonesia and the Philippines are both major islands. The Irrawaddy is a well-known river in Burma. The Red River is found in Vietnam. These large water sources were the base for ancient civilizations. There are many mountain chains scattered around the region such as Arakan Yoma in Burma, Cardamon Mountains in Cambodia, Kinabalu in Malaysia, and Grand Cordillera Central in the Philippines. Because of its location on the equator, South East Asia is in the humid tropics. It may be considered a rainforest biome with tons of different animals.

Culture

Modern South East Asia obviously has many influences from the countries that colonized there. But, some countries were able to keep part of their original culture. For example, almost all of the countries have their native tongue as the main language. Laos speaks Lao, Burma speaks Burmese, Vietnam speaks Vietnamese and Malaysia speaks Malay. The one exception is the Philippines who speak Filipino and English. While the major languages of each country are generally indigenous, there are still traces of the conquering nations’ languages. A vital aspect in South East Asian society and work-life is rice paddies. Because of the vast marshy areas and la...

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...lonies from mother countries. Great Britain chose to administer this type of rule in Burma after their monarchy rebelled against conquest. It was ruled by Britain’s colonial rule in India. To validate their harsh rule, many mother countries advertised their plans to advance Western civilizations. In most cases, these plans were never enforced from fear native people would be dangerous with political rights.

Though, some nations actually did adapt European systems in South East Asia. Colonial rule began the construction of a modern economic system. Mother nations established roads, highways, and other buildings that remunerate both involved countries. There was an opportunity for entrepreneurs to share their goods with the improvement of export markets. In the Dutch East Indies, growers of natural resource could share their profits in colonial endeavors.

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