- Slides: 38
Welcome to Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia • Southeast Asia is east of India and South of China. • It consists of a mainland island areas. • The mainland is a giant peninsula, which is south of the rest of Asia, and the islands run east to west between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. • The mainland is made up of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. • The region is about 1/5 of the size of the US. • Forests and mountains cover up much of the land. The mountains run north and south and most people live in the narrow river valleys between the mountain ranges. • The rivers flow from the north and provide the river valleys with water and minerals necessary to grow crops.
Southeast Asia Continued. . • Five major islands makeup the island region of SE Asia. • The islands are: Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. • The smallest is Singapore and the largest is Indonesia. • The islands are part of the “Ring of Fire” which is a region of volcanoes and earthquakes surrounding the Pacific Ocean. • Most of the islands here are mountainous because they are actually the peaks of underwater volcanoes. • People live here with the fear that a volcanic eruption will destroy their home.
Southeast Asia’s Physical Features • The Himalayas form a border between South Asia and the rest of the continent. They stretch 1, 550 miles from east to west. Mt Everest (worlds tallest mountain) is in the Himalayas and it rises 20, 028 feet. • The Himalayas were formed when 2 sections of the Earth’s crust collided. This collision formed great folds in the Earth’s surface. Over time, the movement of these sections pushed the folds higher and higher. This process is still going on today. Scientists estimate that Mt. Everest is growing 2 inches per year.
Physical Features Continued. . • The Himalayas provide the subcontinent with life giving rivers. The 2 most important in South Asia are the Ganges and the Indus Rivers. • The Ganges River flows in a wide sweeping arc across northern India. The Brahmaputra River joins it going southward as they continue to flow through Bangladesh and empty into the Bay of Bengal. • The Indus River flows westward from the Himalayas into the country of Pakistan. The lower part of the Indus flows through the hottest and driest part of India. • Rivers carry from the mountains the water and minerals necessary for good farming. The plains around the rivers are very fertile which lends to the fact that they are very populated.
• Indonesia is the largest country in Southeast Asia. Its 13, 660 islands stretch some 3000 miles between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. All of Indonesia lies on the equator. The location is at the junction of several tectonic plates, which makes Indonesia the most active volcanic region on Earth. The nation has more than 150 volcanoes, about 50 of which are active. Although volcanoes present a danger, they also provide the lava and ash that enrich the islands soils.
The Caste System • Most rural villages are still based on the caste system. This is a social system that divided India’s society into 4 major classes, or castes, based on their occupation. • Brahmins were the highest caste. It consists of priests and intellectuals and they were the only people who could read and write. • Below them were Kshatriyas, or warriors, then the Vaisyas, the traders and the merchants, then the Sudras who were the farmers and laborers. • Below these 4 classes were the “untouchables” who were considered so lowly as not to be a part of any caste. They were not allowed to enter temples and they performed the most unpleasant of tasks. • Under the caste system, a person is born into a caste and cannot move into another. Some believe that marrying or taking a job with another caste is a violation of moral code and must be punished by rebirth into another life.
Caste System Continued. . • Since India’s independence from British rule, the government has worked hard to abolish the caste system. • It declared that poor treatment of the untouchables was illegal. • Mohandas Gandhi, who helped free India from British rule, saw the untouchables as human beings, who deserved to be treated with respect and dignity, just as the people of the other castes. • Gandhi called the untouchables the “children of God. ”
India’s Geography • Water surrounds much of India. Water is vital to the interior of the country. India’s major rivers act as lifelines. • The Ganges, which flows from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, is called the “mother river” and is scared to Hindus.
Malaysia Geography • The South China Sea divides the country of Malaysia into 2 parts. • Western Malaysia occupies part of the narrow Malay Peninsula and is connected to mainland SE Asia. • Eastern Malaysia lies on the southern part of the island of Borneo.
The City • This is one of the wealthiest countries in SE Asia. • It sits off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. • Singapore is the name of the nation, its major city and the island on which the city is located. . • The city is the center of trade and banking for SE Asia, and its industries produce refined-oil products, ships, textiles, electronics and many high-tech products. • Its people are generally prosperous and well educated. • It is known to have some of the harshest laws- we will see that later…
Burma’s History • Burma gained its independence from Britain in 1948 and in 1962 a military government took over all business and trade and created a socialist economy cut off from all foreign influence. • In 1989, the military government changed the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar, but the US government still recognizes the country as Burma. • Although pro-democracy protests have taken place in Burma, the military government still remains in power. • Government troops continue to battle minority and rebel groups in the northern mountains and thousands have fled the country. • To strengthen its position and the economy, the government now seeks foreign investment.
The Conflict Aung San Suu Kyi is the leader of the National Democratic League, which won the last general election in 1990. She was never allowed to take power and is currently in “protective custody, ” which has caused an uproar around the globe.
The world anxiously waits now for her release.
The Geography • Means “Land of the Free” • Thailand occupies the central part of the Southeast Asian mainland extends south into the Malay Peninsula. • The Mekong river forms its eastern border with Laos. • All of Thailand is subject to seasonal monsoon rainfall.
Vietnam’s History • Along with Laos and Cambodia, Vietnam was part of French Indochina. When the French returned to SE Asia after WWII they found the Communist forces had gained power in the north. • The Communist group was referred to as the Vietminh and they were under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh. • There were 8 years of fighting and in the end the Vietnamese defeated the French. As a result, Vietnam was divided along the 17 th parallel. • North Vietnam established a Communist government with it’s capital at Hanoi. • South Vietnam established a government friendly to that of the United States with it’s capital at Saigon.
History Continued. . • Both governments wanted re-unification but they could not settle on the terms. • In 1963 the north invaded the south and the US military came in to support the south. • During the Vietnam War, more than 55, 000 Americans and more than 2 million Vietnamese were killed. • Due largely to the high human coast of the war, the US withdrew its troops in 1973. • Soon after, the South Vietnamese government collapsed and in 1975 the Northern forces occupied Saigon and renamed it Ho Chi Minh City. • The country was officially united in 1976 as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
The Vietnam War
The History • During the Vietnam War, the US bombed North Vietnamese supply lines in Cambodia. • The Khmer Rouge was the government in place at the time and they isolated them and they launched a program to establish a “Khmer peasant nation. ” The goal of this program was to achieve a “pure and simple society. ” • They emptied the cities, the educated were executed, families were separated and citizens were forced into labor. • Their own government killed more than 1 million Cambodians and others, such as Vietnamese. • Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia in 1978. They overthrew the Khmer Rouge and set up a government friendly to that of Vietnam. • Today, the nation is trying to rebuild after years of warfare. • The United Nations troops are stationed in Cambodia to oversee the country’s peaceful transition to democracy. • They are receiving economic aid from Japan and other countries.
The History and Resources • Laos is one of the poorest nations in the world. • Until 1954 it was under French rule. • It was severely damaged because during the Vietnam War, the US bombed parts of the country because there were routes that the North Vietnamese were using to get to the South. • In 1975, Communist forces took over the monarchy and formed the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Nepal’s Geography • Nepal rises from north to south • Mt Everest lies above Nepal’s border with China. • Due to its geographic location, snow covers more than 15% of Nepal’s total land year round.
Bangladesh’s Geography • Bangladesh is surrounded by India on the north, west and east. Its only other neighbor is Burma. • To the south, the coastline is marshy along the Bay of Bengal. • A complex network of more than 5000 miles of waterways make river transportation the most common form of travel.
Sri Lanka’s Geography • Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is a pear shaped tropical island located just off the southern tip of India. • It sits on the continental shelf of the Indian subcontinent.