Asian Countries: Region of Great Historical, Cultural and Ethnic Diversity
Asia is the biggest continent both by size and population and is the home to a huge diversity of culture and ethnicity. The continent is divided into six parts: North Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia and Central Asia. Each of these six parts has its own set of cultures, religions and historic importance. There are some of the world’s biggest religions that have been born in the Asian region like Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism and Islam. Asia has always been the home to some of the biggest and the oldest civilizations like the Indus Valley Civilization, Mesopotamian Civilization etc. Here is a region wise explanation to the Asian history, culture and ethnic diversity:
The world’s most populous country China belongs to the East Asian part of the continent. Apart from China, there are North and South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. This region has played a big role in the ancient and modern bilateral cultural and material trade. The two major religions practiced in this part are Buddhism and Taoism. The Chinese culture is huge and has been documented through Chinese scripts. The old Chinese literature is used as a reference in the other countries like Japan and Korea. Mandarin is the most spoken language in the whole world and has influenced most of the languages of the neighboring countries Korea, Vietnam and Japan who developed later their own.
South Asia consists of the Indian Subcontinent including countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan and Bhutan. The most prevalent religions in the region are Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism.Hinduism and Buddhism had evolved in India, and countries like India and Nepal has 80% of its population following Hinduism. Islam, on the other hand, is the most followed religion in the whole Asia Pacific region with countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Maldives having most of the Islamic population.
This area has a huge cultural diversity. India in itself is the home to people with varied religions, races and culture.
The Indo Aryan and Dravidian languages are the most spoken in this region. Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi Pashto etc. are some of the major languages. The region is a house to one of the biggest ancient civilization, the Indus Valley Civilization and the remains of the greatest cities like Mohenjo-daro and Harappa are still being discovered in some places of Pakistan and India.
South East Asia consists of Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam and Timor. The regions like India, China and Islamic countries have greatly influenced the culture of this region. The main religions followed here are Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. The South East Asian countries are some of the biggest tourist destinations in the world because of their terrain and architectural beauties. Hinduism and Buddhism were the major religion influencers on these countries. These were later developed into their own forms and a unique culture was created around them. Later Islam emerged as the dominant religion in Brunei, Malaysia and Philippines. They have some great traditional dance forms and religious literature that have been derived from lots of religions and yet is unique to the region.
The Central Asian countries include mainly all the Islamic countries like Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and some parts of Afghanistan. They have seen a huge number of dynasties including Persian, Mongols, Russian etc. Hence, their culture is a mix of these. The region is famous for its food and music. The area has a very high temperature and the residents of the area were mostly nomads in the ancient times.
The silk route has been of a huge historic importance and passes through this region.
The Persian literature is one of the biggest written literature in the whole world and has been an intrinsic part of the Persian Dynasty.
The West Asian countries, also known as the middle east, consist of some of the most modern and richest countries in the world including Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Georgia, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Armenia and Syria. The major religion followed by these countries are Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
This region holds its importance in history as the birthplace of Jewish culture although in the present times the region is mostly dominated by the Muslim population except Israel.
There is a huge cultural contrast in these countries with some of the population being tribal nomads and the other population living in some of the world’s most developed cities like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha etc. Their literature is a mix of Jewish, Persian, Arabic and Turkish literatures.
North Asia consist of Siberia which is considered as a part of the Russia and it is under the Russian rule. Most of the population living in this area is Russian and Siberian. Christianity is the biggest religion practiced in this region but some people also practice Shamanistic religion.