Countries and peoples of Asia. History, number and cultural characteristics of Asian peoples
Asia is the largest (both in size and population) part of the world. Today, over 4 billion people live here, or 60% of the world's inhabitants. This article will focus on the countries and peoples of Asia, their cultural and linguistic features.
Asia - a motley mosaic of languages, religions and cultures
Asia is located in the northern and eastern hemispheres (with the exception of Chukotka). Together with Europe, it forms a single continent - Eurasia, occupying 4/5 of its territory. Asia is separated from Africa by the Red Sea, and from North America by the narrow Bering Strait. The conditional border between Europe and Asia passes through the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the northern coast of the Caspian Sea, the Kumo-Manych Depression and, through the waters of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, goes into the Black Sea.
The Asian population is characterized by high fertility rates and, consequently, significant growth rates of its numbers. By the way, according to this indicator, Asia in the world is second only to Africa. Today, more than 100 million people live in seven Asian countries.
In this part of the world live representatives of the three main races - Mongoloid, Negroid and Caucasoid. And they all speak in more than 2000 languages! The most ancient civilizations of our planet — Babylonian, Sumerian, Indian, Chinese, and others — were born in Asia. And it was here that formed three world religions - Islam, Christianity and Buddhism, with a record number of followers throughout the world.
Culture and history of the peoples of Asia: common features
The first Asian state formations were born on the banks of large rivers - the Indus, the Yellow River, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Due to climatic factors and irrigated agriculture, cities arose here, the number of inhabitants grew.
The first centuries of our era were marked by the "Great Migration of Peoples" from the south-western and southern regions of Asia to the east and into Europe. The last and most ambitious of these movements was the Mongol-Tatar invasion.The grand campaign to conquer Europe was interrupted only in 1241 near Vienna.
For the first time, the peoples of Asia found themselves outside the traditional habitats long before the era of Columbus and Magellan. So, on the northern coast of Africa, even before our era, colonies of Phoenicians were built (the largest of them is Carthage). In the Middle Ages, the Arabs from Asia penetrated the Pyrenees, settled in East Africa.
Different modern cultures of the peoples of Asia are quite self-sufficient, although they are closely connected with each other by a single history and traditions. Researchers identify five main subcultures within this part of the world:
- Metaconfucian (China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam).
- Buddhist (Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, etc.).
- Hindu (India).
- Islamic (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Brunei, etc.).
- Catholic (Philippines).
In general, the main feature of Asian culture is that it strives for a harmonious and holistic perception of reality.
The most numerous peoples of Asia
Today in Asia there are at least one thousand different ethnic groups and ethnic groups.The number of some of them does not exceed thousands of people. The ethnocultural uniqueness of Asia is enhanced by the fact that here many nations are divided by state borders. Thus, the Bengalis live simultaneously in India and in Bangladesh, the Kurds live in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, etc.
The eastern regions of Asia are considered the birthplace of the Mongoloids. From here they settled in different parts of the world, including Alaska and North America. But the population of West Asia is extremely diverse and belongs to one of the branches of the Caucasoid race.
The peoples of Central Asia speak mainly Turkic languages. The countries of the Arabian Peninsula are populated mainly by Arabs who speak the languages and dialects of the Semitic group.
Among the most numerous peoples of Asia are the Chinese (Han people), Hindustans, Japanese, Bengalis, Iranians, Indonesians, Syrians, Turks, Kazakhs, Kurds, Afghans and others.
Political Map of Modern Asia
Today, within this part of the world, there are 54 public entities, including Russia, Turkey, as well as five unrecognized or partially recognized countries.The largest populations of Asia are China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In these five states live 45% of all inhabitants of our planet!
According to the generally accepted UN classification, Asia is divided into five historical-geographical subregions. It:
- Central (or Middle) Asia.
Asian countries are very diverse in their ethnic composition. So, for example, Japan is a mononational country (about 98% of the Japanese here). At the same time, in such states as Iran or Thailand, the titular nations hardly account for half the population.
Heterogeneous Asian countries and the density of its inhabitants. For comparison: 1,150 people live in Bangladesh per square kilometer, and only two people live in Mongolia.