What is Asia? Who are Asians?

<p>Can anybody here articulate, in intelligent fashion, what unites peoples such as Syrians, Bangladeshi, Filipinos, and Chinese as "Asian", other than the fact that they're simply non-Europeans living on the Eurasian landmass?</p>

<p>...Asian is too broad in your terms. There is East Asian (typically China, Korea, Japan), then there is SE Asian (Malaysian, Singapore, Thailand, etc.), then there are the island ones (Indonesia, Philippines, etc), South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh). The rest is probably more considered Middle Eastern or near Mediterranean.</p>

<p>The Caucasus mountains divide Europe from Asia. The people who live in the Caucasus mountain range are termed Middle Eastern or Eurasian (e.g. Georgians).</p>

<p>I agree it is odd that Indians, Japanese, Filipinos, Iranians, etc., as different as they are from each other, are commonly lumped together under the term "Asian", while the Nordic, Mediterranean, and Slavic, though less different from each other than the aforementioned groups of people, get the distinction of "European".</p>

<p>"Asia" is one of the most expansive stereotypes out there. The common conception is that they are extremely smart and work hard, and the true part is that they do tend to score higher on placement tests. You hear of Chinese kids working 6-7 days a week and how the Chinese Education system is much more sophisticated than American public schools. Japanese are almost the same, they work hard and they lead the world in technology. Indians are also known to be good at technology and computers, good in the field of medicine, and business. Asia as a continent is full of a lot of hard working people, so it's almost repetitive to say that Japanese, Indians, Chinese, etc all work hard, you just hear Asia. You almost never hear of Russia being included in Asia even though it's the largest part because of the general opinion that's put out there by media and whatnot. </p>

<p>That's just my opinion, of course there's more to Asia like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, UAE, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, the list goes on. Part of the Asian stereotype is good though, they're different, but they're also successful very often when they're compared to the rest of the world.</p>

<p>"Asian" tends to refer to East Asians, ie Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, etc. Indians tend to be called "Indians" and those further west are typically referred to as Middle Eastern.</p>

<p>Even Russia is asian-like; their education system is also much more advanced, and I'm sure the average russian student would score much higher on SAT/SAT II equivalents if it were in their original language. In fact I'm pretty sure that applies to most of Europe and Asia.</p>

<p>^yea probably but it's all in the media and general perception. </p>

<p>But seriously, what is Asia? Asia is world. Asia is. Asia is undescribable. Asia is the East. It's simply too big, thank goodness we didn't have 6 continents with one of them being Eurasia. Of course Asia isn't a nation, but it seems to be united under the cause of outdoing what the Industrial Revolution of the USA and Britain did. The USA is known for pioneering many things in today's world, but Asia wants to be known for either perfecting them or being the definition of innovation, and it's doing a very good job at it.</p>

<p>Asia is....</p>

<p>Sony, Toyota, Toshiba, </p>

<p>Asia is... look around your house, what's been made in Asia?</p>

<p>This is a really interesting topic, it's almost like asking the question what is God, with which I would just answer "God is." </p>

<p>Give Asia some time, we need to see if the rest of the world can catch up to Asia's progress within the next 10-20 years. Come on Obama! Invest in energy, that's the future of humanity.</p>

<p>
[quote]
But seriously, what is Asia? Asia is world. Asia is. Asia is undescribable. Asia is the East. It's simply too big, thank goodness we didn't have 6 continents with one of them being Eurasia. Of course Asia isn't a nation, but it seems to be united under the cause of outdoing what the Industrial Revolution of the USA and Britain did. The USA is known for pioneering many things in today's world, but Asia wants to be known for either perfecting them or being the definition of innovation, and it's doing a very good job at it.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Asia is well defined. It's the part of Eurasia east of the Ural Mountains. The rest of that stuff is just dumb stereotypes.</p>

<p>^Come on man, we know what it is geographically, examine the bigger picture here. It's better to know how you're being affected by a part of the world than knowing about it on a map. It's not really stereotypical. The world depends on Asia for many things, and Asia is becoming more influential, for the good and the bad.</p>

<p>The world depends on Asia because it's the main supply of cheap labor. If the U.S. ever "catches up" to Asia in that regard, it'll be a sad day for the country. And it's incredibly superficial to pretend that innovation and industrialization somehow captures the essence of the continent.</p>

<p>rahoul has a point. imagine the productivity of the west without asia, its downfall would run far deeper than loss of cheap labour. </p>

<p>i'm really glad someone put this up. i am an east asian studies major. as of late, the east aka asia seems to be coming to the forefront western minds and it's internal conflicts have a more frequent appearance in western media.</p>

<p>maybe...the term asia is a unintelligible lumping of countries by whoknowswho (really who?) due inability to understand cultural complexity. and asians are the people at the hands of this practiced misunderstanding of culture.</p>

<p>The west wouldn't collapse, it'd simply go back to a worker society. Sort of like how it was from the industrial revolution until roughly 30-40 years ago...</p>

<p>Living standards would drop, yes, but stop acting like cheap manufacturing is somehow keeping the West alive. </p>

<p>
[quote]
Give Asia some time, we need to see if the rest of the world can catch up to Asia's progress within the next 10-20 years. Come on Obama! Invest in energy, that's the future of humanity.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Catch up to Asia? In case you haven't noticed, the vast majority of China's economic power derives from the fact that it's a giant factory.</p>

<p>People should really start calling countries specifically instead of the continent. Japan and Korea are possibly higher in technology, at least they're a lot more invested in it. China is still a major export hub rather than an import one, which may possibly change over the next 50 years. To be fair though, China's decisions do have a major impact on the world economy, so influentially speaking, they have a lot of control (mostly because of the vast amount of US bonds which China holds which I personally believe will end badly for both sides...)</p>

<p>
[quote]
imagine the productivity of the west without asia, its downfall would run far deeper than loss of cheap labour.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Not because of innovation. China's power comes from the fact that a few have been able to build enormous wealth off the backs of a billion, and it's using that wealth to bankroll the U.S. Back to Rahoul's original point...</p>

<p>
[quote]
Of course Asia isn't a nation, but it seems to be united under the cause of outdoing what the Industrial Revolution of the USA and Britain did. The USA is known for pioneering many things in today's world, but Asia wants to be known for either perfecting them or being the definition of innovation, and it's doing a very good job at it.

[/quote]

This isn't really true. There's no innovation or perfection. Asia is mainly benefiting from Western companies looking for labor. Its success (if you can call the great amounts of poverty that) is built on being able to undercut American/European workers.</p>

<p>It's pretty easy for a country to be productive when they don't have a silly thing like civil rights to worry about.</p>

<p>Thiscouldbeheavn, are we talking about China or Asia? Either way, "Asia" most definitely is an innovative place! Your assumption that it is >completely< comprised of people who are searching for free labour is seriously misinformed and ignorant. And even though, yes, this issue exists in Asia...it also exists on every continent on the Earth..so your wreckless answer to the original question is pretty irrelevant to the understanding of "Asia".</p>

<p>Can you be >that< blind to where science, the arts, political and social ideology etc. would be without scholars from different parts of Asia? It's existence by virtue advances Western understanding of important contemporary world issues. Your trite and simple summations of Asian peoples however does nothing to advance western understanding of the Eastern world of thought.</p>

<p>Asia is a rock group formed in 1981. The band was labelled a supergroup and included former members of veteran progressive rock bands Yes, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Uriah Heep, U.K., Roxy Music, Wishbone Ash and The Buggles. As of 2008, there are two distinct groups using the Asia name: a reunion of the band's original line-up performing as Asia, and Asia Featuring John Payne featuring three members from later incarnations of Asia.</p>

<p>An Asian is any member of the band.</p>

<p>Most people know what the traditional physical boundaries of Asia are. We're not dumbasses here. My purpose in starting this thread was why the Caucasus is used to separate two continents, but greater mountain ranges like the Himalayas are not? Why don't the Rockies separate North America, or the Andes in South America?</p>

<p>Look at the whole EU and Turkey debate. Turkey's questionable human rights thing notwithstanding, the main problem is that many feel that Turkey is not "European" enough due to religion and culture. So if Turkey can't be European because it's too Islamic and non-Classical, then how can India be Asian (if Asian is defined in the American-centric of East Asian) when it's too Hindu/Muslim/Sikh and non-Confucian?</p>

<p>"Asia" is a Eurocentric fictional location that has been used as a generic homeland for almost all of the peoples that Europeans have used to define their own identity against.</p>

<p>What do you think of this statement?</p>

<p>To be honest with you, most people don't know or care what the difference between India or China or the Phillipines is, and quite frankly they don't need to. It isn't relevant to the daily lives of most people. And I doubt every Chinese citizen would know the difference between America and Canada if the US wasn't so powerful. They're ignorant of it by the fact that it's so far away, not because they intentionally dislike it.</p>

<p>There isn't some giant white man conspiracy to put down other races. Get over yourselves.</p>

<p>nbachris, I would argue that your proposition is false. If we look at the origins of the term "Asia," it comes from Ancient Greece, in reference to Turkey. That served as boundary enough for crusading medieval Europeans, who could conveniently classify the world into three parts: Europe, Africa, and Asia, all centered around the Holy Land that was Israel. Europeans didn't at the time venture into Russia and past the Urals, with the exception of Vikings. In the renaissance and age of discovery, Europe's world expanded greatly, coming to terms with another great landmass: America. Do note the vast cultural differences between Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas, and so it was somewhat appropriate for Europeans to refer to Asia as separate. This is how we developed the continental distinction. </p>

<p>Considering our use of the term, "Asian" I would say it comes from what was the trend through the mid 19th Century to mid 20th Century in American history, when Asian immigration overwhelmingly came from China, Japan, and to a lesser degree, Korea. Culturally, these three disparate societies were part of a common sino-centric sphere of influence through the middle ages. However, immigration to the United States from the rest of the Asian continent did not really begin until the second half of the last century, and, while the "Asian" moniker has stuck, it has become more vague, and rightly said, while semantically accurate, less descriptive.</p>