Portal:Asia

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Asia (/ˈʒə, ˈʃə/ (listen)) is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe, and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with Africa and Europe. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Its 4.7 billion people constitutes roughly 60% of the world's population.

In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. A commonly accepted division places Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, separating it from Europe.

China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions. (Full article...)

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A map of the Western Han dynasty in 2 AD

The Han dynasty (UK: /ˈhæn/, US: /ˈhɑːn/; Chinese: 漢朝; pinyin: Hàncháo) was the second imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) and a warring interregnum known as the Chu–Han contention (206–202 BC), it was briefly interrupted by the Xin dynasty (9–23 AD) established by the usurping regent Wang Mang, and was separated into two periods—the Western Han (202 BC – 9 AD) and the Eastern Han (25–220 AD)—before being succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period (220–280 AD). Spanning over four centuries, the Han dynasty is considered a golden age in Chinese history, and influenced the identity of the Chinese civilization ever since. Modern China's majority ethnic group refers to themselves as the "Han people", the Sinitic language is known as "Han language", and the written Chinese is referred to as "Han characters".

The emperor was at the pinnacle of Han society. He presided over the Han government but shared power with both the nobility and appointed ministers who came largely from the scholarly gentry class. The Han Empire was divided into areas directly controlled by the central government using an innovation inherited from the Qin known as commanderies, and a number of semi-autonomous kingdoms. These kingdoms gradually lost all vestiges of their independence, particularly following the Rebellion of the Seven States. From the reign of Emperor Wu (r. 141–87 BC) onward, the Chinese court officially sponsored Confucianism in education and court politics, synthesized with the cosmology of later scholars such as Dong Zhongshu. This policy endured until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912 AD. (Full article...)
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Flag of the Philippines.svg

The Philippines (/ˈfɪlɪpnz/ (listen); Filipino: Pilipinas), officially the Republic of the Philippines (Filipino: Republika ng Pilipinas), is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It is situated in the western Pacific Ocean, and consists of about 7,640 islands, that are broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The Philippines is bounded by the West Philippine Sea to the west, the Philippine Sea to the east, and the Celebes Sea to the southwest, and shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Palau to the east and southeast, Indonesia to the south, Malaysia to the southwest, Vietnam to the west, and China to the northwest. The Philippines covers an area of 300,000 km2 (120,000 sq mi) and, , had a population of around 109 million people, making it the world's thirteenth-most populous country. The Philippines has diverse ethnicities and cultures throughout its islands. Manila is the national capital, while the largest city is Quezon City, both lying within the urban area of Metro Manila.

Negritos, some of the archipelago's earliest inhabitants, were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Adoption of animism, Hinduism and Islam established island-kingdoms called Kedatuans, Rajahnates and Sultanates. The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer leading a fleet for Spain, marked the beginning of Spanish colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. Spanish settlement through Mexico, beginning in 1565, led to the Philippines becoming part of the Spanish Empire for more than 300 years. During this time, Catholicism became the dominant religion, and Manila became the western hub of trans-Pacific trade. In 1896, the Philippine Revolution began, which then became entwined with the 1898 Spanish–American War. Spain ceded the territory to the United States, while Filipino revolutionaries declared the First Philippine Republic. The ensuing Philippine–American War ended with the United States establishing control over the territory, which they maintained until the Japanese invasion of the islands during World War II. Following liberation, the Philippines became independent in 1946. Since then, the unitary sovereign state has often had a tumultuous experience with democracy, which included the overthrow of a dictatorship by the People Power Revolution. (Full article...)

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Luo Yixiu (Chinese: 羅一秀; 20 October 1889 – 11 February 1910), a Han Chinese woman, was the first wife of the later Chinese communist revolutionary and political leader Mao Zedong, to whom she was married from 1908 until her death. Coming from the area around Shaoshan, Hunan, in south central China – the same region as Mao – her family were impoverished local landowners.

Most of what is known about their marriage comes from an account Mao gave to the American reporter Edgar Snow in 1936, which Snow included in his book Red Star Over China. According to Mao, he and Luo Yixiu were the subject of an arranged marriage organised by their respective fathers, Mao Yichang and Luo Helou. Luo was eighteen and Mao just fourteen years old at the time of their betrothal. Although Mao took part in the wedding ceremony, he later said that he was unhappy with the marriage, never consummating it and refusing to live with his wife. Socially disgraced, she lived with Mao's parents for two years until she died of dysentery, while he moved out of the village to continue his studies elsewhere, eventually becoming a founding member of the Communist Party of China. Various biographers have suggested that Mao's experience of this marriage affected his later views, leading him to become a critic of arranged marriage and a vocal feminist. He married three more times, to Yang Kaihui, He Zizhen and Jiang Qing, the last of whom was better known as Madame Mao. (Full article...)

General images

The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.

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The kris or keris is an asymmetrical dagger or sword nowadays most strongly associated with the culture of Indonesia, but also indigenous to Malaysia, Southern Thailand and Brunei. The kris is famous for its distinctive wavy blade (luk), but many have straight blades as well.

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Updated: 1:33, 20 March 2022

In the news

20 March 2022 –
South Korean car company Hyundai announces that the Genesis Motor brand has surpassed 700,000 units in accumulative global sales. (Korea Herald)
Nowruz 1401 Iranian nation new solar hijri year and new 14th century beginning.
19 March 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Asia
COVID-19 pandemic in India
Maharashtra reports 97 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, making it the first time that the Indian state has reported less than 100 new cases of COVID-19 since April 2020. (Business Standard)
COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China

Updated: 7:33, 20 March 2022

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150pxPanoramic view of Buriganga River from the bridge, Old Dhaka.
Credit: Rangan Datta Wiki

The Buriganga River flows past the southwest outskirts of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Its average depth is 7.6 metres (25 ft) and its maximum depth is 18 metres (58 ft).

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