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Chapter 8 South Asia


Buddhism born of discontent; made the state religion of India in 3rd century BC. ... Mahayana Buddhism: Mostly practiced in East Asia (and Vietnam) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 8 South Asia

Chapter 8 South Asia
  • A The Realm of the Monsoons
  • B South Asian Cultures and Religions
  • C Regions of the Realm

  • Well defined physiographically
  • The worlds second largest population cluster
  • Significant demographic problems
  • Low income economies
  • Population concentrated in villages - subsistence
  • Strong cultural regionalism
  • Boundary problems

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The Realm of the Monsoons
  • Monsoons
  • From the Arabic word mausim which means season
  • Annual weather cycle within the tropical and
    subtropical continents of Asia, Australia and
    Africa and the adjacent seas and oceans.
  • Most vigorous and dramatic cycles of weather
    events on earth
  • Torrential rains.
  • Floods.
  • Tropical cyclones.
  • Blow from the southwest from April to October
  • Wet season.
  • India gets more than 80 of its rainfall during
    the monsoon.
  • Blow from the northeast from October to April
  • Dry season.
  • The shifting of the pattern rather unpredictable
  • An early or late Monsoon can have negative impact
    on agriculture.

The Realm of the Monsoons
  • Convectional rainfall
  • Mostly during the summer, almost everyday around
    the tropics.
  • Hot temperature causes rapid evaporation.
  • As the humid air climbs, it cools and causes
    torrential rain falls.
  • Orographic rainfall
  • Mostly during the monsoons.
  • High mountain ranges force humid air masses to
  • It cools and rain falls.
  • Highest levels of precipitation are on the Indian
    side of the Himalayas (more than 30 feet of
    precipitation per year).

Dominant Wind Patterns in the Winter (October to
April) Dry Season
H (Cold)
Monsoon Region
L (Warm)
L (Warm)
Monsoon Region
Dominant Wind Patterns in the Summer (April to
October) Wet Season
L (Warm)
Monsoon Region
H (Cold)
Monsoon Region
Average Annual Precipitations (in millimeters)
Dry continental
Driest desert on earth
Gobi Desert
Ganges Delta
Mawsynram, India (467 of rain per year 11860
mm). Most precipitation on earth
Monsoon east
Raining every day with no dry season
Monthly Precipitations (in mm)
South Asian Cultures and Religions
  • A culturally fragmented realm
  • Religious and linguistic diversity.
  • Religious Patterns
  • Islam is predominant in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Hinduism is predominant in India.
  • Sikhism thrives in northern India.
  • Buddhism is predominant in Sri Lanka.

South Asian Cultures and Religions
  • The Indus River
  • Where an early culture emerged and developed.
  • Arts and trade routes emerged from isolated
    tribes and villages to towns and beyond.
  • Hinduism emerged from the beliefs and practices
    brought to India by the Indo-Europeans (Aryans)
    (6th century BC).
  • Buddhism born of discontent made the state
    religion of India in 3rd century BC.
  • Islam sweeps through central India from the 8th
    -10th centuries AD.

South Asian Cultures and Religions
  • Hinduism
  • Oldest of the major religions (3,000-4000 BC).
  • Originated in northern India.
  • Polytheistic with more than 333,000 gods
  • All part of Brahman the one ultimate reality.
  • Main deities
  • Trinity of Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the
    preserver of good and order) and Shiva (god of
    destruction and creation).
  • Four major facts
  • Karma Your deeds, good or bad, will return to
  • Reincarnation You are the sum of numerous past
  • Dharma Laws and duties of being (restrains and
  • Worship Your communion with gods.
  • Cast system reflecting ones position in the
  • About 1 billion followers (India and Indian

South Asian Cultures and Religions
  • Buddhism
  • Emerged around 563 B.C. in northern India
  • Reform of Hinduism.
  • Called a religion, a philosophy, an ideology and
    a way of life.
  • Siddhartha became the first Buddha, or Awakened
  • Similar concepts than Hinduism (Karma,
    Reincarnation and Dharma).
  • Four Noble Truths
  • Suffering is universal and inevitable.
  • The immediate cause of suffering is desire and
  • There is a way to dispel ignorance and relieve
  • The eightfold path is the means to achieve
    liberation from suffering. This path includes (1)
    Right View, (2) Right Thought, (3) Right Speech,
    (4) Right Action, (5) Right Livelihood, (6) Right
    Effort, (7) Right Mindfulness, and (8) Right

South Asian Cultures and Religions
  • Multitude of possible paths.
  • By achieving the right path, one enters Nirvana
  • State of absolute desirelessness and
  • Withdrawal from material world through
  • Mahayana Buddhism
  • Mostly practiced in East Asia (and Vietnam).
  • Salvation can be achieved through the
    intervention of deities.
  • Bodhisattva are people who postpone entry to
    nirvana to save other beings.
  • Theravada Buddhism
  • Mostly practiced in Southeast Asia (Indochina and
  • Individual is responsible for salvation.
  • Achieved through good deeds and religious
  • Importance of monastic orders.

South Asian Cultures and Religions
  • Islam
  • Monotheistic.
  • No idols.
  • One sacred book.
  • Uniform dogma - 5 pillars.
  • Intolerant (of other religions).
  • Eat beef/Sacrifice cows.
  • Bury dead.
  • Social equality (in theory).
  • Theocratic society.
  • Hinduism
  • Polytheistic.
  • Many idols.
  • Various sacred writings.
  • Varying beliefs.
  • Absorbed other religions.
  • Venerate cows.
  • Burn dead ( alive).
  • Caste separation.
  • State of secondary importance.

South Asian Cultures and Religions
  • Sikhism
  • Another reform of Hinduism in view of Islam (16th
  • Originated in the Punjab region.
  • About 20 million adherents.
  • Monotheistic religion
  • God who has 99 names.
  • Belief in reincarnation
  • Samsara (the repetitive cycle of birth, life and
  • Rebirth following death.
  • Belief in Karma
  • Accumulated sum of one's good and bad deeds.
  • Prohibited from worshipping idols, images, or

Regions of the Realm
  • Pakistan
  • Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  • Population of 149.6 million.
  • 80 Sunni Muslims 16 Shia minority
  • Subregions
  • Punjab.
  • Sind.
  • Baluchistan.
  • North west frontier.
  • Outcome of the partition of the British India in
  • Initially a dysfunctional state.
  • Two parts East (Bangladesh) and West Pakistan.
  • Bangladesh separated in 1971.

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Regions of the Realm
  • Kashmir
  • Independence partition.
  • Jammu Kashmir faced with the choice of joining
    either Hindu India or Muslim Pakistan.
  • Kashmir Hindu maharaja but Muslim population.
  • 1947 Pakistani tribesmen invade.
  • Maharaja flees to Delhi and accedes to India.
  • Indian troops deployment Pakistani regulars
    join in the fight.
  • January 1949 UN cease fire.
  • 1980-88 Muslim extremists continue insurgency.

Regions of the Realm
  • India
  • Secular state worlds largest democracy.
  • Account for 75 of South Asias land area.
  • Population of 1.086 billion people.
  • 28 urbanized
  • 14 major and numerous minor languages
  • English is the lingua franca.
  • Northern Indians
  • Primarily Aryans, people who lineage at least
    partially comes from peoples from Central and
    Western Asia.
  • South Indians
  • Dravidians, a race completely distinct from the
  • Physically shorter and have darker skins than
    North Indians
  • Subject to prejudice in the north.

Regions of the Realm
  • Caste system
  • A structured social structure.
  • Hereditary occupation.
  • Introduced in the second millennium BC by the
  • There are four castes
  • Brahmans (priests), Kshatriyas (warriors),
    Vaishyas (farm owners, merchants, artisans), and
    shudras (menials, laborers, serfs).
  • Below are the untouchables, a group so low that
    they are completely outside the caste system,
    composed of non-Aryan aborigines and workers such
    as street-sweepers, tanners, corpse-handlers.
  • Adds to the divisiveness of India.
  • Have been made illegal, but still persist today.

Regions of the Realm
  • Bangladesh
  • Formally East Pakistan.
  • Population of 140 millions.
  • 85 Muslim and 12 Hindu.
  • Low lying country in the Ganges Delta.
  • One of the poorest country in the region and in
    the world.
  • Rice cultivation.
  • Prone to floods.

Regions of the Realm
  • Sri Lanka
  • Formerly Ceylon Independent since 1948.
  • 19.7 million people (70 Buddhists)
  • Plantation agriculture
  • Tea, rubber, coconuts.
  • South (majority of population)
  • Aryan.
  • Buddhists.
  • Speak Sinhala (indo-European).
  • North (18 of the population)
  • Dravidian.
  • Hindu.
  • Tamil language.
  • A civil war has erupted between extreme elements
    of the country's Tamil population and the
    Sinhalese majority.