By P Boomgaard
Water, in its many guises, has continuously performed a strong position in shaping Southeast Asian histories, cultures, societies, and economies. those essays symbolize a vast diversity of methods to the research of Southeast Asia with water because the critical topic. because it used to be uncovered to the ocean, the zone used to be extra available to outdoor political, fiscal and cultural impacts than many landlocked components. easy accessibility via sea routes additionally encouraged alternate. despite the fact that, an identical easy accessibility made Southeast Asia liable to political keep an eye on by means of robust outsiders. the ocean is, furthermore, a resource of foodstuff, but in addition of many risks. while, Southeast Asian societies and cultures are faced with and permeated by means of "water from heaven" within the kind of rain, flash floods, irrigation water, water in rivers, brooks, and swaps, water-driven strength crops, and pumped or piped water, as well as water as a provider of sewage and pollutants. eventually, the quantity bargains with the function of water in category structures, ideals, myths, disorder, and therapeutic.
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Extra resources for A world of water: rain, rivers and seas in Southeast Asian histories
Craig Reynolds (1995:422) has persuasively suggested that history is a ‘discourse about origins’, and that Southeast Asian nationalist historiographies have built upon earlier work in their determination to ‘pursue, locate and document’ the genealogy of the new states. This has encouraged efforts to rescue the presumably real and authentic identity of the region, by dismantling colonial ideological superstructures, and peeling back the layers of alien contamination. It is apparently suspected that acceptance of decisive Indian, Chinese or European influence will deny indigenous autonomy and creativity, and hence, by implication, invalidate subsequent independent nation states.
This suggests that the carriers of most of this trade were members of Southeast Asian communities rather than outsiders, and that the long-distance trade networks extending into the South China Sea and the Bay of Bengal were focused on the chiefdoms of western Indonesia and peninsular Malaysia. ) At the beginning of the Common Era trade already linked the Roman Empire, India and Southeast Asia, and by the second or third century Fu-Nan, where land and sea met in the lower Mekong delta, had developed into a commercial centre.
30. See also Wang 1998; Ptak 1999; L. Andaya 1999:3; Reid 1996, including the map on p. 16. 22 Ptak 1992:320; Souza 1987; Subrahmanyam 1993:208; Kathirithamby-Wells 1999:262-3. Geography as destiny? 37 new and profitable possibilities to harbours along their way. But the opposite was no doubt also true: port-polities able to provide a range of goods and services could draw business away from less well-managed rivals, who might actually have had a more advantageous location. All these contacts fuelled cultural exchange and stimulated innovation.
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