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ASIA 101 Lecture Notes - Mueang

Asian Studies
Course Code
ASIA 101
John Barker

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Notes on South East Asia
The collapse of golden age kingdoms proved a prelude to a dynamic new era in which many
societies,among them Malaka, became increasingly involve in world trade and larger european realm.
-Theravada Buddhism spread widely across south east asia and new cultures emerged
-Most south east asian lived with three socio-cultural frames which had emerged in fifteenth century:
The thervada buddhism,The vietnamese and the Malayo -Muslim or indonesian.And all the people
flourished into 1700s
-The Toungoo kings invaded thai and lao states in quest of regional supermacy,temporarily annexing
some of northern thialand,sacking cities and carrying much of the wealth.
-under king Bayinnauung,who ruled from 1551-1581 from pegu,taungoo was the strongest state in
mainland south east asia.
-siamese were also an important thervada buddhist people,by the sixteenth century some siamese
began referring to themselves as mueang thai (Thai country),but it wasn't until 1930 that the name
thailand was adopted officially.
-Ramkamhaeng was a popular king who controlled central thailand and is still considered as a noble soul
in modern times by thai people
-Theravada Buddhist used to sponsor village schools,due to which the region had one of the highest
literacy rates in pre-industrial world
-Despite the egalitarian nature of theravada buddhism there existed status differences and free women
enjoyed many rights which they could equally inherit like men and also could initiate a marriage and
-Women could be seen strolling through markets buying stuff,helping themselves with nobodies
help,there was no obligation to cover oneself
In contrast to the extended families in china and india the siamese people lived in small nuclear families.
The sense of individualism existed though theravada buddhism encouraged collaboration
-Due to the non-existence of gods in theravada buddhism there was a great reliance on shamanism and
other folk traditions to solve issues
-Over the trade routes across asia,the spices of indonesia and east africa,the gold and tin of malay
peninsula,the sugar of the philippine,the textiles,sugar and cotton in india,the cinnamon and ivory of
ceylon,the gold of zimbabwe in southeast africa,the coffee of arabia ,the carpets of persia,the silver of
japan,and the silks,porcelins,and tea of china travelled to distant markets .
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