Culture &
Lifestyles
East & Southeast Asia
(27.3 & 30.3)
Language
• Major languages:
– Tibetan, Chinese,
Japanese, Korean
– Han Chinese
• Mandarin is official
lang., Cantonese 2nd
• Ideograms instead of
letters (stand alone or
combination = diff.
meaning. ~6,000 for
everyday use)
• *Pitch and tone are
impt.
• Lang families:
– Malayo-Polynesian,
Sino-Tibetan, MonKhmer (100s of diff.
languages)
– Blends with
migrant/colonizing
nations
• Philippines= Filipino,
English, & Spanish
• Vietnam= Vietnamese,
Chinese, French, Eng.
Language
• Japan’s has been
more isolated than
Korea’s
– Ties to Korea & Mong.
– Both writing systems
based on Chinese
(kanji- 2,000 for
everyday use)
• Trade also has impact
– Singapore= Chinese,
Tamil, Malay, English
– English often lang. of
business/daily life
Religion
• Buddhism, Christianity, • Nearly all of world’s
Islam all prac. here
religions found here
– Some also prac. local
religion (Shintoism,
Shamanism)
• Confucianism &
Daoism are
philosophies practiced
like religions
– Buddhism & Islam are
top
– Roman Catholic,
Hinduism,
Confucianism &
Daoism as well
– Vietnam blends rel.
together to make their
own
Religion
• Religion discouraged by communist
govn’ts
– Persecute Buddhist monks/lamas
– Oppression on Buddhist population
– Exiled Dalai Lama
– People must worship/ hold on to faiths
almost in secret
• With fall of USSR, Mongolia moved to
democracy, now worships freely
Religion
• Confucianism: 551-479 BC
– Confucius lived during social upheaval
frustrated with govt
– Created social & ethical philosophy
• All relationships involve defined roles & mutual
obligations
• Valued order, continuity, social cohesion above
personal gain
• Education is key in position in society (wisdom
& desire for learning define ideal leaders)
Religion
• Confucianism cont’d
– Ethical/ Virtue based
• Ruler accountable for ppl (drought, war)
– Loses Mandate of Heaven
• Respect elders, loyalty to govt, keep one’s
place in society
• Inner part: treat each other with love, respect,
and consideration for the needs of all
Religion
• Taoism (Daoism): 604-531 BC
– Founded by Laozi*
• means “The Way”
– Oneness w/ humanity & nature
– Values simplicity, spontaneity, tranquility
• Against competition & possession
– Yin/Yang: balance of opposing forces
• yin- feminine, passive, moon, water, clouds
• yang- masculine, active, sun, fire, dragons
Religion
• Shamanism:
– Faith in leaders with powers to heal the sick and
speak with spirits
• Shintoism:
– Japan’s former state religion
– Polytheistic, animism (nature spirits- kami)
– Emphasis on this world, not preparing for after-life
– Many shrines, collection of rituals to connect human
life with nature
The Arts
• Greatly inspired by
•
religions
• Communists tried to
erase, but was revived
•
• Poetry- harmony of
humans w/ nature
– The Tale of Genji (Japan)
– Haikus (Japan)
Wat in Phnom Penh
Adapted from Indian &
Chinese styles, and
religions
See both pagodas and
Indian wats
The Arts
• Music typically of wind,
string, and percussion
instruments
• Kabuki vs. Noh drama
• Calligraphy
• Origami
• Fine china (dishes)
• Pagodas– Curved tile
roofs
shakuhachi
The Arts
• Lacquerware & batik
– Time & dedication
Kuala Lumpur (KLCC)
• Arjunavivaha is
modified from
Mahabarata (fits SE
Asia)
• Legong is dance of
Bali to reenact
Ramayana
• Leng Trot= rain dance
in Cambodia
The Arts
• Foot binding: 900s to early 1900s
– Desire to have small, slender feet
• Golden Lotus (size), Lotus Gait (style of walk)
– Many outlawed it (Communists,
Manchus)
• End up being a sore spot b/w Han & Manchu
– Almost 100% of wealthy had it done (at
young age)
– Can cause infections, gangrene; but
some can still walk, work, even dance
Living Conditions
• Late 1900s brought economic recovery
– Taiwan, Japan*, S. Korea best off (still have
gaps b/w classes)
• Japan saw downturn in late 90s huge layoffs,
bankrupt companies ppl scared to spend bad
for housing industry
• Less focus on job security for wkrs, more on
profit
– China has one lowest GDPs (esp. in rural areas)
• Deng Xiaoping began allowing free enterprise,
foreign investment flooded into SEZs
SEZs in China
Living Conditions
• Lots of $ spent on
education
• Singapore’s GDP
comparable to US
– Free elementary for
– Others are much
most
lower
– Very high lit. rates in J, • Lit. rates are rising,
SK, T, & NK
but vary in each
– China’s Cult. Rev.
country (Thailand is
slowed growth
highest @ 95, Laos
– SK and Taiwan push
lowest @ 57)
educ. more than most
Living Conditions
• Life exp. around 70-74
• Communist govts pay for
health care
– No longer promised in
China (widening gap)
• Mixture of Western &
Eastern meds (herbal,
acupuncture)
• Health care varies widely
(Singapore highest @
78, Laos lowest @ 52)
• Rapid urban growth
(high-rises, housing
projects)
– Still many live in sm.
Villages
– longhouses
Living Conditions
• Diet: lots of staples
(rice, wheat),
vegetables, and fish
– Beef, chicken, dairy
just now becoming
popular
• Martial arts, table
tennis, gymnastics,
swimming (Olympics)
• Various New Year’s
(lunar, not solar)
• Diet: raise
themselves, many
spices/sauces added
– Curry, coconut milk
• Chinlon (Myan.), silat
(Indo.), kickboxing
(Thai.)
• Lunar New Year’s too
– Vietnam = Tet
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Culture & Lifestyles