South Asia
South Asia
 Separated from Asia by the Himalayas in the
Bigger than a peninsula and smaller than a
continent– called a Subcontinent
Has strongest Monsoon winds in the worlddue to Himalayas
India is the dominant country and major
influence in the area
William Carey was the first modern
missionary to the region- translated the Bible
into many native languages
I. India
 Largest country in South Asia
 Second largest in population in the world
Overtake China in 2050
 World’s largest democracy
Federal Republic, 25 states and 6 territories
 Speak Hindi officially, but use English
 Largest cities: Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata (formerly
I. India
 Major Geographic Features
 Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea
 Himalayas- highest mountain range on earth, included Mt.
Everest- highest mountain in the world
 Ganges River- one of world’s longest, most important river
in India, supplies water for irrigation, significant in Hindu
I. India
 Major Geographic Features
 Great Indian Desert- south of the Indus river
 Deccan Plateau- heart of Indian peninsula, dry climate
Mumbai is located in the North- largest city
New Delhi is the capital
 Disputed Border Regions
Mahatma Gandhi- tried to make peace with the Muslims in
India, assassinated by a Hindu in 1948
Kashmir- claimed by both India and Pakistan, in the East
I. India
 Religions
 Hinduism- 80% of population
2 of most sacred things: cattle and Ganges river
Castes, no upward mobility
Brahmins- highest class, priests and teachers
Vaisyas- middle class- merchants, skilled craftsmen and farmers
Untouchables- lowest level
Reincarnation- cycle of birth, death and rebirthultimate goal: become part of Brahman- the world spirit
Karma- total affects of a person’s actions
Not one leader or one book- gurus attract followers based on their own
 Islam- second largest religion in India
 Christianity- today about 2.3% of population professes some form of
Christianity– many movements can be traced to William Carey
 Sikhism- combine the teachings of Islam and Hinduism
 Jainism- related to Buddhism and Hinduism, cannot be violent against
any life form
I. India
 Government and Economy
 British involvement- since the British East India company
was established, the British had influence in India, after
WWI granted India more representation in government and
full independence in 1947
Benefits- English language spread among the educated, railroad
systems were put in place, strong administrative tradition
 Growing economy despite poverty and natural disasters
 Read Rupees and Rajas pg. 483
II. Pakistan and Bangladesh
 Used to be part of India until 1947
 Separated due to religious differences, split Muslim
region from Hindu
 Pakistan then split into East and West sections, then in
1971 East Pakistan became Bangladesh at India’s
 Physical Features- Indus River valley makes up most
of the land, most people live along the river, rest of the
area is part of the Great Indian Desert, many Afghan
refugees crossed the Khyber Pass into Pakistan
 97% are Muslim
 Government- officially a federal republic but in
reality it is a military dictatorship
 Natural Disasters- location makes typhoons and
tsunamis a constant threat
Poor. Overpopulated. Ill-governed. Poorest
country in the world.
Society- rely on donated food, medical care is
scarce, most people rely on agriculture for
livelihood but the destructive weather patterns
often ruin crops
Government- corrupt and lazy officials in a
Parliamentary Democracy
Economy- is growing slowly, produces Jute
IV. Nepal
 Physical Features
 Has 8 of the world’s 10 highest peaks
 Home to Mt. Everest
 Very prone to natural disasters
 Society- people are a mix of Tibetan and Indian, most
widely spoken language: Nepali
Only official Hindu state in the world
Sherpas- famous as guides
Government and Economy: constitutional monarchy, very
poor economy- 80% of people work in agriculture
Capital: Kathmandu
V. Bhutan
 Physical Features- climate ranges from severe cold to
tropical due to the Himalayas
 Name means “Land of the Thunder Dragon”
 Society- mainly a Buddhist society, very few women
receive an education
 Government and Economy:
 very closely linked to India
 ruled by a king who promises to move towards
 no diplomatic relations with the US
VI. Sri Lanka
 Physical Features- lies 20 miles off the coast
of India
 Climate is tropical, monsoons are common, rain
forests are the natural vegetation
 Hit by tsunami in 2004, left 31,000 dead, 6,300
missing, and 443,000 homeless
 Society- conflict between Sinhalese
(Buddhist) and Tamils (Hindu) have been
going on for decades
 Government and Economy- republican form of
 Tea is major export, very famous commodity
 Capital: Colombo
VII. Maldives
 Physical Features
 Smallest nation in Asia
 1,190 coral islands- 200 are inhabited, 80 are tourist destinations
 Highest point- only about 8 feet of elevation
 Society
 Amazingly literate compared to nearby nations, 99% literate,
education is not mandatory
 Government and Economy- influenced by Dutch and then
 government follows secular Muslim law
 one president since 1978
 Economy dominated by fishing and tourism
 Capital: Male (mahlee)

Chapter 19