Archive for the ‘Geography of Asia’ Category


A shadow puppet

Like a shadow puppet on the blafard horizon, a tree is cut out against a fireball. This it how mandarins write the character for East. Middle Kingdom (1), country of the Fresh and Calm Mornings (2), island where the Sun Rises (3), this is the Far East of the Westerners. Beyond Japan and the Sakhalin island or to the South of the Philippines and Indonesia, Asia fades out in the huge Pacific. Further South West, the Indian Ocean takes over, bathing the coast of Malaysia and Sri Lanka, down to India and Pakistan.

Located on the same continental plate, Europe and Asia have less obvious borders. From the Dardanelles to the Bosphorus or running through the Ural mountains, the political frontiers do not match the underlying structures.

Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Russia overlap the two regions and are often excluded in a restricted definitions of Asia.

Logically and culturally, Asia starts with the Indian Subcontinent and includes Mongolia in the North. Even when amputated of a part of Central Asia, this area remains one of the most extended and most populated part of the World, sheltering half of the inhabitants of the planet. The biggest treasure and attraction of this continent is it’s extreme diversity with a wealth of ethnic groups, languages, writings, different religions, political regimes, cultural practices and gastronomic delicacies.

Indian Subcontinent, South-East Asia, Far East, the mysteries of the rising sun still fascinate many Westerners, whereas others are reluctant to face the unknown and experiment differences. However, in less than twenty years, a overwhelming wave of similarities has ironed out many specificities. The quest for the East becomes more subtle but the approach remains rewarding.

    1. China (Middle Kingdom)

    2 Korea (Morning Calm)

    3.Japan (Roots of the Sun)

References: Wikipedia (Asia)

This article was translated from French with the help of Yahoo Babel Fish.

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