Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.
Orchid Island known by other names, is a 45 km2 high island off the southeastern coast of Taiwan Island. It is separated from the Batanes of the Philippines by the Bashi Channel of the Luzon Strait, it is governed as Lanyu Township of Taitung County, which includes the nearby Lesser Orchid Island. "Orchid Island" is a calque of the Chinese name, written 蘭嶼 in traditional characters, although technically the latter character refers to an islet rather than a proper island. The name honors the local Phalaenopsis orchids and was established by the ROC government on 24 November 1946, it is sometimes known as Lanyu or Lan Yu, from the pinyin romanization of the name's Mandarin pronunciation. It had been known to the Chinese as "Red-Head Island" (紅頭嶼, from one of the island's capes or an ethnic slur for the Dutch; these characters were borrowed into Japanese as Kōtōsho during their occupation of Taiwan. In the 17th century, it appeared on Japanese maps as "Tabako", whence it was borrowed into French and English as "Tabaco".
It is still known by Filipinos as Botel Tobago, formerly used in English. Lesser Orchid Island was formerly known as "Little Botel-Tobago"; the island is known to its native Tao as the "Island of the People" or "Irala". The island is known by the Amis people as "Buturu", by the Puyuma as "Botol"; the aboriginal people of the islands are the Tao, who immigrated from the Batanes about 800 years ago. The island first appears on surviving charts in the 17th century, when it was noted by Japanese sailors. During Japan's occupation of Taiwan, its government declared Kōtō Island an ethnological research area off-limits to the general public. After the Republic of China regained Taiwan, the island was administered as the Hong-tou-yu "township" of Taitung County after 19 January 1946 but the Japanese restrictions on visitors remained in effect; because of these policies, the Tao continue to have the best-preserved traditions among the Taiwanese aborigines despite the end of the ban on settlement and tourism in 1967.
Since 1967, schools have been built on the island and education in Mandarin is compulsory. Lesser Orchid Island has been used for target practice drills by the Taiwanese Air Force. A nuclear-waste storage facility was built in 1982 without prior consultation with the island's inhabitants; the plant receives nuclear waste from Taiwan's three nuclear power plants, all operated by the state utility Taipower. About 100,000 barrels of nuclear waste have been stored at the Lanyu complex. In 2002 and 2012, there were major protests from local residents, calling on Taipower to remove the waste from the island. There are eight mountains over 400 m high; the tallest mountain is Mount Hongtoushan at 552 m. The rock on the island is explosive fragments; the volcano last erupted in the Miocene period. It is part of the Luzon Volcanic Arc. Magma was formed from underthrusting oceanic crust under compression about 20 km deep; the andesite rock contains some visible crystals of amphibole. The geochemistry of the rock shows it is enriched in sodium and nickel but depleted in iron, potassium and strontium.
As the island is within the tropics, the island experiences a warm and rainy tropical climate throughout the year with humidity reaching more than 90%. Rainfall, abundant throughout the year, cools the temperature significantly; the climate is classified as a monsoon-influenced Koppen's tropical rainforest climate with frequent cyclones therefore not equatorial, with annual temperatures averaging around 23 °C on the mountains and 26 °C on the coasts, one of the highest in Taiwan. Lesser Orchid Island is an uninhabited volcanic islet nearby, it is the southernmost point of Taitung County. It is home to a critically-endangered endemic orchid, Phalaenopsis equestris f. aurea
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Most Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, their specific teachings and practices. Observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism and the cultivation of the Paramitas.
Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism and Tiantai, is found throughout East Asia. Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region and Kalmykia. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of the Buddha born Siddhārtha Gautama, known as the Tathāgata and Sakyamuni. Early texts have his personal name as "Gautama" or "Gotama" without any mention of "Siddhārtha," which appears to have been a kind of honorific title when it does appear; the details of Buddha's life are mentioned in many Early Buddhist Texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. The evidence of the early texts suggests that he was born as Siddhārtha Gautama in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilavasthu, a town in the plains region of the modern Nepal-India border, that he spent his life in what is now modern Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother was Queen Maya, he was born in Lumbini gardens. However, scholars such as Richard Gombrich consider this a dubious claim because a combination of evidence suggests he was born in the Shakyas community – one that gave him the title Shakyamuni, the Shakya community was governed by a small oligarchy or republic-like council where there were no ranks but where seniority mattered instead; some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, claims about the society he grew up in may have been invented and interpolated at a time into the Buddhist texts. According to the Buddhist sutras, Gautama was moved by the innate suffering of humanity and its endless repetition due to rebirth, he set out on a quest to end this repeated suffering. Early Buddhist canonical texts and early biographies of Gautama state that Gautama first studied under Vedic teachers, namely Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, learning meditation and ancient philosophies the concept of "nothingness, emptiness" from the former, "what is neither seen nor unseen" from the latter.
Finding these teachings to be insufficient to attain his goal, he turned to the practice of asceticism. This too fell short of attaining his goal, he turned to the practice of dhyana, which he had discovered in his youth, he famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in the Gangetic plains region of South Asia. He gained insight into the workings of karma and his former lives, attained enlightenment, certainty about the Middle Way as the right path of spiritual practice to end suffering from rebirths in Saṃsāra; as a enlightened Buddha, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his life teaching the Dharma he had discovered, died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, India. Buddha's teachings were propagated by his followers, which in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE became over 18 Buddhist sub-schools of thought, each with its own basket of texts containing different interpretations and authentic teachings of the Buddha.
The Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, dukkha, "incapable of satisfying" and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the endless cycle of repeated rebirth and dying again, but there is a way to liberation from this endless cycle to the state of nirvana, namely following the Noble Eightfold Path. The truth of dukkha is the basic insight that life in this mundane world, with its clinging and craving to impermanent states and things is dukkha, unsatisfactory. Dukkha can be translated as "incapable of satisfying," "the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena". Dukkha is most translated as "suffering," but this is inaccurate, since it refers not to episodic suffering, but to the intrinsically unsat
The Austronesian peoples or more Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a group of various peoples in Southeast Asia and East Africa that speak Austronesian languages. The nations and territories predominantly populated by Austronesian-speaking peoples are known collectively as Austronesia, they include Taiwanese aborigines, the majority of ethnic groups in Brunei, East Timor, Madagascar, Micronesia, the Philippines and Polynesia, as well as the Malays of Singapore. They are found in the regions of Southern Thailand, the Cham areas in Vietnam and Cambodia, parts of Myanmar, the Hainan island province of China, parts of Sri Lanka and some of the Andaman Islands. Additionally, modern-era migration brought Austronesian-speaking people to the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, mainland Europe, Cocos Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Hainan, Hong Kong and West Asian countries. Ethnic Maldivians possess a genetic connection to the Austronesian-speaking groups of maritime Southeast Asia via gene flow from the Malay Archipelago.
Another term used by Wilhelm G. Solheim II to refer to Austronesian-speakers with a maritime-oriented culture is Nusantao, as part of his Nusantao Maritime Trading and Communication Network hypothesis; the linguistic connections between Madagascar and Southeast Asia were recognized early in the Colonial Era by European authors the remarkable similarities between Malagasy and Polynesian numerals. The first formal publications on these relationships was in 1708 by the Dutch Orientalist Adriaan Reland, who recognized a "common language" from Madagascar to western Polynesia; the Spanish philologist Lorenzo Hervás y Panduro devoted a large part of his Idea dell' Universo to the establishment of a language family linking the Malaysian Peninsula, the Maldives, the Sunda Islands, the Philippines, the Pacific Islands eastward to Easter Island. Multiple other authors corroborated this classification, the language family came to be known as "Malayo-Polynesian," first coined by the German linguist Franz Bopp in 1841.
The term "Malayo-Polynesian" was first used in English by the British ethnologist James Cowles Prichard in 1842 to refer to a historical racial category equivalent to the Austronesian peoples today, not to the language family. However, the Malayo-Polynesian language family excluded Melanesia and Micronesia, due to what they perceived were marked physical differences between the inhabitants of these regions from the Malayo-Polynesian speakers. However, there was growing evidence of their linguistic relationship to Malayo-Polynesian languages, notably from studies on the Melanesian languages by Georg von der Gabelentz, Robert Henry Codrington and Sidney Herbert Ray. Codrington coined and used the term "Ocean" language family rather than "Malayo-Polynesian" in 1891, in opposition to the exclusion of Melanesian and Micronesian languages; this was adopted by Ray who defined the "Oceanic" language family as encompassing the languages of Southeast Asia and Madagascar, Micronesia and Polynesia. In 1899, the Austrian linguist and ethnologist Wilhelm Schmidt coined the term "Austronesian" to refer to the language family.
Schmidt had the same motivations as Cordington. He proposed the term as a replacement to "Malayo-Polynesian", because he opposed the implied exclusion of the languages of Melanesia and Micronesia in the latter name, it became the accepted name for the language family, with Oceanic and Malayo-Polynesian languages being retained as names for subgroups. The term "Austronesian", or more "Austronesian-speaking peoples", came to refer the people who speak the languages of the Austronesian language family; some authors, object to the use of the term to refer to people, as they question whether there is any biological or cultural shared ancestry between all Austronesian-speaking groups. This is true for authors who reject the prevailing "Out of Taiwan" hypothesis and instead offer scenarios where the Austronesian languages spread among preexisting static populations through borrowing or convergence, with little or no population movements. Despite these objections, the general consensus is that the archeological, cultural and linguistic evidence all separately indicate varying degrees of shared ancestry among Austronesian-speaking peoples that justifies their treatment as a "phylogenetic unit."
This has led to the use of the term "Austronesian" in academic literature to refer not only to the Austronesian languages, but the Austronesian-speaking peoples, their societies, the geographic area of Austronesia. Serious research into the Austronesian languages and its speakers has been ongoing since the 19th century. Modern scholarship on Austronesian dispersion models is credited to two influential papers in the late 20th century: The Colonisation of the Pacific: A Genetic Trail, The Austronesian Dispersal and the Oigin of Languages; the topic is interesting to scientists for the remarkably unique characteristics of the Austronesian speakers: their extent and rapid dispersal. Regardless certain d
Madagascar the Republic of Madagascar, known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; the island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the growing human population and other environmental threats. The first archaeological evidence for human foraging on Madagascar may have occurred as much as 10,000 years ago. Human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and 550 AD by Austronesian peoples, arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo; these were joined around the 9th century AD by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life.
The Malagasy ethnic group is divided into 18 or more subgroups, of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands. Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting sociopolitical alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles; the monarchy ended in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed republics. Since 1992, the nation has been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009, president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009 to Andry Rajoelina. Constitutional governance was restored in January 2014, when Hery Rajaonarimampianina was named president following a 2013 election deemed fair and transparent by the international community.
Madagascar is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Madagascar belongs according to the United Nations. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state; the majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity, or an amalgamation of both. Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy. Under Ravalomanana, these investments produced substantial economic growth, but the benefits were not evenly spread throughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standards among the poor and some segments of the middle class; as of 2017, the economy has been weakened by the 2009–2013 political crisis, quality of life remains low for the majority of the Malagasy population. In the Malagasy language, the island of Madagascar is called Madagasikara and its people are referred to as Malagasy.
The island's appellation "Madagascar" is not of local origin but rather was popularized in the Middle Ages by Europeans. The name Madageiscar was first recorded in the memoirs of 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo as a corrupted transliteration of the name Mogadishu, the Somali port with which Polo had confused the island. On St. Laurence's Day in 1500, Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias landed on the island and named it São Lourenço. Polo's name popularized on Renaissance maps. No single Malagasy-language name predating Madagasikara appears to have been used by the local population to refer to the island, although some communities had their own name for part or all of the land they inhabited. At 592,800 square kilometres, Madagascar is the world's 47th largest country and the fourth-largest island; the country lies between latitudes 12°S and 26°S, longitudes 43°E and 51°E. Neighboring islands include the French territory of Réunion and the country of Mauritius to the east, as well as the state of Comoros and the French territory of Mayotte to the north west.
The nearest mainland state is Mozambique, located to the west. The prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana separated the Madagascar–Antarctica–India landmass from the Africa–South America landmass around 135 million years ago. Madagascar split from India about 88 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in relative isolation. Along the length of the eastern coast runs a narrow and steep escarpment containing much of the island's remaining tropical lowland forest. To the west of this ridge lies a plateau in the center of the island ranging in altitude from 750 to 1,500 m above sea level; these central highlands, traditionally the homeland of the Merina people and the location of their historic capital at Antananarivo, are the most densely populated part of the island and are characterized by terraced, rice-growing valleys lying between grassy hills and patches of the subhumid forests that covered the highland region. To the west of the highlands, the arid terrain slope
Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a history going back about 3,500 years. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions. Sanskrit is an Old Indo-Aryan language; as one of the oldest documented members of the Indo-European family of languages, Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies. It is related to Greek and Latin, as well as Hittite, Old Avestan and many other extinct languages with historical significance to Europe, West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, it traces its linguistic ancestry to the Proto-Indo-Aryan language, Proto-Indo-Iranian and the Proto-Indo-European languages.
Sanskrit is traceable to the 2nd millennium BCE in a form known as the Vedic Sanskrit, with the Rigveda as the earliest known composition. A more refined and standardized grammatical form called the Classical Sanskrit emerged in mid-1st millennium BCE with the Aṣṭādhyāyī treatise of Pāṇini. Sanskrit, though not Classical Sanskrit, is the root language of many Prakrit languages. Examples include numerous modern daughter Northern Indian subcontinental languages such as Hindi, Bengali and Nepali; the body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of philosophical and religious texts, as well as poetry, drama, scientific and other texts. In the ancient era, Sanskrit compositions were orally transmitted by methods of memorisation of exceptional complexity and fidelity; the earliest known inscriptions in Sanskrit are from the 1st-century BCE, such as the few discovered in Ayodhya and Ghosundi-Hathibada. Sanskrit texts dated to the 1st millennium CE were written in the Brahmi script, the Nāgarī script, the historic South Indian scripts and their derivative scripts.
Sanskrit is one of the 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It continues to be used as a ceremonial and ritual language in Hinduism and some Buddhist practices such as hymns and chants; the Sanskrit verbal adjective sáṃskṛta- is a compound word consisting of sam and krta-. It connotes a work, "well prepared and perfect, sacred". According to Biderman, the perfection contextually being referred to in the etymological origins of the word is its tonal qualities, rather than semantic. Sound and oral transmission were valued quality in ancient India, its sages refined the alphabet, the structure of words and its exacting grammar into a "collection of sounds, a kind of sublime musical mold", states Biderman, as an integral language they called Sanskrit. From late Vedic period onwards, state Annette Wilke and Oliver Moebus, resonating sound and its musical foundations attracted an "exceptionally large amount of linguistic and religious literature" in India; the sound was visualized as "pervading all creation", another representation of the world itself, the "mysterious magnum" of the Hindu thought.
The search for perfection in thought and of salvation was one of the dimensions of sacred sound, the common thread to weave all ideas and inspirations became the quest for what the ancient Indians believed to be a perfect language, the "phonocentric episteme" of Sanskrit. Sanskrit as a language competed with numerous less exact vernacular Indian languages called Prakritic languages; the term prakrta means "original, normal, artless", states Franklin Southworth. The relationship between Prakrit and Sanskrit is found in the Indian texts dated to the 1st millennium CE. Patanjali acknowledged that Prakrit is the first language, one instinctively adopted by every child with all its imperfections and leads to the problems of interpretation and misunderstanding; the purifying structure of the Sanskrit language removes these imperfections. The early Sanskrit grammarian Dandin states, for example, that much in the Prakrit languages is etymologically rooted in Sanskrit but involve "loss of sounds" and corruptions that result from a "disregard of the grammar".
Dandin acknowledged that there are words and confusing structures in Prakrit that thrive independent of Sanskrit. This view is found in the writing of the author of the ancient Natyasastra text; the early Jain scholar Namisadhu acknowledged the difference, but disagreed that the Prakrit language was a corruption of Sanskrit. Namisadhu stated that the Prakrit language was the purvam and they came to women and children, that Sanskrit was a refinement of the Prakrit through a "purification by grammar". Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-European family of languages, it is one of the three ancient documented languages that arose from a common root language now referred to as the Proto-Indo-European language: Vedic Sanskrit. Mycenaean Greek and Ancient Greek. Mycenaean Greek is the older recorded form of Greek, but the limited material that has survived has a ambiguous writing system. More important to Indo-European studies is Ancient Greek, documented extensively beginning with the two Homeric poems. Hittite.
This is the earliest-recorded of all Indo-European languages, distinguishable into Old Hittite, Middle Hittite and Neo-Hittite. I
Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China and Japan, east of India, west of Papua New Guinea, north of Australia. Southeast Asia is bordered to the north by East Asia, to the west by South Asia and the Bay of Bengal, to the east by Oceania and the Pacific Ocean, to the south by Australia and the Indian Ocean; the region is the only part of Asia that lies within the Southern Hemisphere, although the majority of it is in the Northern Hemisphere. In contemporary definition, Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions: Mainland Southeast Asia known as Indochina, comprising parts of Northeast India, Laos, Thailand and West Malaysia. Maritime Southeast Asia known as Nusantara, the East Indies and Malay Archipelago, comprises the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India, East Malaysia, the Philippines, East Timor, Christmas Island, the Cocos Islands. Taiwan is included in this grouping by many anthropologists; the region lies near the intersection of geological plates, with both heavy seismic and volcanic activities.
The Sunda Plate is the main plate of the region, featuring all Southeast Asian countries except Myanmar, northern Thailand, northern Laos, northern Vietnam, northern Luzon of the Philippines. The mountain ranges in Myanmar and peninsular Malaysia are part of the Alpide belt, while the islands of the Philippines are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Both seismic belts meet in Indonesia, causing the region to have high occurrences of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Southeast Asia covers about 4.5 million km2, 10.5% of Asia or 3% of earth's total land area. Its total population is about 8.5 % of the world's population. It is the third most populous geographical region in the world after East Asia; the region is culturally and ethnically diverse, with hundreds of languages spoken by different ethnic groups. Ten countries in the region are members of ASEAN, a regional organization established for economic, military and cultural integration amongst its members; the region, together with part of South Asia, was well known by Europeans as the East Indies or the Indies until the 20th century.
Chinese sources referred the region as 南洋, which means the "Southern Ocean." The mainland section of Southeast Asia was referred to as Indochina by European geographers due to its location between China and the Indian subcontinent and its having cultural influences from both neighboring regions. In the 20th century, the term became more restricted to territories of the former French Indochina; the maritime section of Southeast Asia is known as the Malay Archipelago, a term derived from the European concept of a Malay race. Another term for Maritime Southeast Asia is Insulindia, used to describe the region between Indochina and Australasia; the term "Southeast Asia" was first used in 1839 by American pastor Howard Malcolm in his book Travels in South-Eastern Asia. Malcolm only included the Mainland section and excluded the Maritime section in his definition of Southeast Asia; the term was used in the midst of World War II by the Allies, through the formation of South East Asia Command in 1943.
SEAC popularised the use of the term "Southeast Asia," although what constituted Southeast Asia was not fixed. However, by the late 1970s, a standard usage of the term "Southeast Asia" and the territories it encompasses had emerged. Although from a cultural or linguistic perspective the definitions of "Southeast Asia" may vary, the most common definitions nowadays include the area represented by the countries listed below. Ten of the eleven states of Southeast Asia are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, while East Timor is an observer state. Papua New Guinea has stated that it might join ASEAN, is an observer. Sovereignty issues exist over some territories in the South China Sea; some southern parts of Mainland China, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan, are considered as part of Southeast Asia by some authors. * Administrative centre in Putrajaya. Southeast Asia is geographically divided into two subregions, namely Mainland Southeast Asia and Maritime Southeast Asia. Mainland Southeast Asia includes: Maritime Southeast Asia includes: The Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India are geographically considered part of Maritime Southeast Asia.
Eastern Bangladesh and Northeast India have strong cultural ties with Southeast Asia and sometimes considered both South Asian and Southeast Asian. Sri Lanka has on some occasions been considered a part of Southeast Asia because of its cultural ties to mainland Southeast Asia; the rest of the island of New Guinea, not part of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, is sometimes included, so are Palau and the Northern Mariana Islands, which were all part of the Spanish East Indies with strong cultural and linguistic ties to the region the Philippines. The eastern half of Indonesia and East Timor are considered to be biogeographically part of Oceania due to its distinctive faunal features. New Guinea and its surrounding islands are geologically considered as a part of Australian continent, connected via the Sahul Shelf; the region