India. Nepal. Sri Lanka. Pakistan. Bhutan. Bangladesh. Afghanistan. Maldives. 1) Location. SIZE AND ORIGINS. Formed when landmass collided with Asia. South Asia is about ½ the size of the USA. South Asia contains 20% of the world’s population. Mountains.
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SIZE AND ORIGINS
The Himalayas are the world’s highest mountains, with 20+ peaks above 24,000 ft.
The Hindu Kush mountains have served as a barrier for years. Khyber Pass is one of the few ways past them.
The Ghats block moisture from reaching the interior, causing the Deccan plateau to be dry.
-Dry in the northwest
-Tropical in the north, between the mountain ranges
-Dry in the southern interior, wet along the coasts
Large numbers of South Asians immigrate to other regions – educated persons often move to Western countries (especially UK and USA) for technology positions, while uneducated persons usually go to the Middle East to work as laborers.
Nations in South Asia:
Ancient Times – Hinduism and Islam, caste system, several huge empires in region.
British Rule – Britain ruled all of South Asia from 1776 to 1948. “British East India Company” controlled almost all commerce until 1858, when control passed to the “British Raj”.
1947 - Independence and Partition – British freed and divided region into India (mostly Hindu) and Pakistan (mostly Muslim). Influenced heavily by Mahatma Gandhi.
Modern Era – Wars between India and Pakistan. Growing economic power of India, and Pakistan’s crisis with Islamic radicals and Taliban.
Religions of South Asia
Who – Ancient priests of India
When – 5000 –3000 BCE
Where – India
Holy Books – Vedas, Bhagavad-Gita
Major Divisions – Numerous traditions
Polytheistic – Thousands of deities, many interconnected.
Reincarnation through infinite lives and forms
Dharma – proper place or role in the universe and society (caste)
Karma – cause and effect occurring across lives.
Ultimate goal – oneness with “Brahman” (God, Reality)
Simple, really… follow your DHARMA to improve your KARMA so that you reincarnate in a better position to reach BRAHMAN.
Who – Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)
When – 500 BC
Where – Northern India
Holy Books -Tripitaka
Major Divisions – Mahayana, Theravada
No universal creator, only powerful beings. Reincarnation, dharma, and karma still apply.
Four Noble Truths: Life is suffering, suffering caused by craving, craving caused by ignorance, ignorance relieved by knowing the Truth.
The “Eightfold Path” allows one to attain Nirvana, freedom from existence and suffering
Who – Muhammad
When – circa 620AD
Where – Arabian Peninsula
Holy Books –Quran and the Hadith
Major Divisions – Sunni, Shia
There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of God
Quran is word of God.
Muslims must perform the “Five Pillars of Faith”.
Who –Guru Nanak
Where –Northwestern India
Holy Books –AdiGranth
Basic Beliefs –
Monotheistic, believe in reincarnation.
All people are equal in God’s eyes.
Humans must free themselves from negative thoughts and actions to attain salvation, become one with God.
Teachings are passed down through teachers, or “Guru”.
Sikh’s are bound by the “Five K’s”… kēs (uncut hair), kaṅghā (small wooden comb), kaṛā (circular steel or iron bracelet), kirpān (sword/dagger), and kacchā (special undergarment).
Who –Indus Valley priests
When –900’s BC
Holy Books –None
Major Divisions – “Whiteclad”, “Naked”
Basic Beliefs –
No divine being, universe is cyclical
Reincarnation is eternal
Goal is to perfect your soul and become an enlightened being
Jains believe in AHIMSA, total non-violence against all living things
Monks take many vows and give up nearly everything…. Even clothes, in some cases.
5) Regions – Nations of South Asia
Trauma of Partition
Why do India and Pakistan both feel that they need nuclear weapons?