[[Image:|300px|Incheon Songdo International Business District]]
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area (or 30% of its land area) and with approximately 4.5 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population. It is traditionally defined as part of the landmass of Africa-Eurasia lying east of the Suez Canal, east of the Ural Mountains, south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea and east of the Mediterranean Sea.
The history of Asia can be seen as the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions such as, East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe.The coastal periphery was the home to some of the world's earliest known civilizations, with each of the three regions developing early civilizations around fertile river valleys. These valleys were fertile because the soil there was rich and could bear lots of root crops. The civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China shared many similarities and likely exchanged technologies and ideas such as mathematics and the wheel. Other notions such as that of writing likely developed individually in each area. Cities, states and then empires developed in these lowlands.The steppe region had long been inhabited by mounted nomads, and from the central steppes they could reach all areas of the Asian continent. The northern part of the continent, covering much of Siberia was also inaccessible to the steppe nomads due to the dense forests and the tundra. These areas in Siberia were very sparsely populated.The centre and periphery were kept separate by mountains and deserts. The Caucasus, Himalaya, Karakum Desert, and Gobi Desert formed barriers that the steppe horsemen could only cross with difficulty. While technologically and culturally the city dwellers were more advanced, they could do little militarily to defend against the mounted hordes of the steppe. However, the lowlands did not have enough open grasslands to support a large horsebound force. Thus the nomads who conquered states in the Middle East were soon forced to adapt to the local societies.
The culture of Asia is human civilization in Asia. It features different kinds of cultural heritage of many nationalities, societies, and ethnic groups in the region, traditionally called a continent from a Western-centric perspective, of Asia. The region or "continent" is more commonly divided into more natural geographic and cultural subregions, including the Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia (the "Indian subcontinent"), North Asia, West Asia and Southeast Asia. Geographically, Asia is not a distinct continent; culturally, there has been little unity for many of the cultures and peoples of Asia. Asian art, music, and cuisine, as well as literature, are important parts of Asian culture. Eastern philosophy and religion also plays a major role, with Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam; all playing major roles. One of the most complex parts of Asian culture is the relationship between traditional cultures and the Western world.
Asia has as big GDP as all the other continents together, when measured in purchasing power parity, and is the fastest growing. As of 2016, its largest economies are China, India, Japan and Indonesia. Tokyo is the richest metropolis in the world; Seoul, Osaka and Guangzhou-Shenzhen are as powerful as London. In Global Office Locations 2011, 4 of top 5 were in Asia: Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai. According to Citigroup in The Wealth Report 2012 stated that Asian centa-millionaires overtook North America's wealth for the first time as the world's "economic center of gravity" continued moving east. At the end of 2011, there were 18,000 Asian people mainly in Southeast Asia, China and Japan who have at least $100 million in disposable assets, while North America with 17,000 people and Western Europe with 14,000 people.
A colorful dougong supporting a structure at Sagami Temple, Kasai, Hyōgo, Japan. Dougong is a structural element of interlocking wooden brackets, one of the most important elements in traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean architecture. The use of dougong first appeared in buildings of the late centuries BC and evolved into a structural network that joined pillars and columns to the frame of the roof. The pieces are fit together by joinery alone without glue or fasteners, due to the precision and quality of the carpentry.
was an Indian Bengali filmmaker
. He is regarded as one of the greatest auteurs
of 20th century cinema. Ray was born in the city of Kolkata
into a Bengali
family prominent in the world of arts
. Starting his career as a commercial artist, Ray was drawn into independent filmmaking
after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir
and viewing the Italian neorealist
film Bicycle Thieves
of Vittorio De Sica
during a visit to London
.Ray directed thirty-seven films, including feature films, documentaries
. He was also a fiction writer, publisher, illustrator, graphic designer and film critic
. Ray's first film, Pather Panchali
(1955), won eleven international prizes, including Best Human Documentary
at the Cannes film festival
. This film, Aparajito
(1956) and Apur Sansar
(1959) form The Apu Trilogy
. Ray did the scripting
, casting, scoring
, and editing, and designed his own credit titles and publicity material. Ray received many major awards
in his career, including 32 Indian National Film Awards
, a number of awards at international film festivals
and award ceremonies, and an Academy Honorary Award
in 1992.Satyajit Ray's ancestry can be traced back for at least ten generations. Ray's grandfather, Upendrakishore Ray
was a writer, illustrator, philosopher, publisher, amateur astronomer and a leader of the Brahmo Samaj
, a religious and social movement in nineteenth century Bengal
is the fruit
of several tree species
belonging to the genus Durio
and the Malvaceae family
. Widely known and revered in southeast Asia
as the "king of fruits", the durian is distinctive for its large size, unique odour
, and formidable thorn
. The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species.The edible flesh emits a distinctive odour, strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and offensive. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as almonds
, rotten onions, turpentine
and gym socks. The odour has led to the fruit's banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in southeast Asia.The durian, native to southern philippines, Brunei
, has been known to the Western world for about 600 years. The 19th-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace
famously described its flesh as "a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds". The flesh can be consumed at various stages of ripeness, and it is used to flavour a wide variety of savoury and sweet edibles in Southeast Asian cuisines. The seeds can also be eaten when cooked.There are 30 recognised Durio
species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit. Durio zibethinus
is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. There are hundreds of durian cultivars
; many consumers express preferences for specific cultivars, which fetch higher prices in the market.
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