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Asia | The Most Diverse Continent

Discover the beauty of Asia and its diverse culture.
Learn more about the cultural diversity of Asia and its people.

When you think of Asia, what comes to mind? It could be the beautiful spots that Asia has to offer or the people that make up the most diverse continent in the world. No matter what comes to mind, it is no question that Asia is one of the must-visit places on Earth.

Before you visit Asia, however, it is important to learn about its culture and traditions so as to avoid culture shock because let’s face it, Asia is hundreds of miles away and sure enough, there is a big difference with your culture and theirs.

The History of Asia

The history of Asia is as vast as its area; its past, as diverse as its people. Asia’s history paved the way for the development of modern day Asia. Back then, trade was the main method of livelihood. This was made possible because of the silk road that connected China with the rest of western Asia.

During the medieval era, Asia was ruled by empires. One such was the great Roman empire. From Europe, it conquered most of west Asia, where its rivalry with the Persian empire boiled for more than 500 years.

At the turn of the 13th century, the Mongol empire sought to conquer Asia and in so doing, was able to control much of Asia, extending from China to Europe. This Mongolian empire was headed by the Khans. The Mongol empire was able to conquer as far as Jerusalem but was eventually defeated in the 1260s.

In the late 18th century, China has become an important trade partner for countries in the west as well as Europe. China’s spices, tea, and porcelain products were in great demand. On the other hand, as the years went by, China’s need for Europe’s trade products declined. In a bid to tip the balance in their favor, the British smuggled opium from India into China. This resulted in the depletion of China’s bullion reserves and led to the spread of drug addiction. In 1839, China destroyed thousands of chests of opium and banned its use. China’s unwarranted interference of Europe’s affairs led to the latter declaring war, which started the opium wars.

The Culture and Traditions of Asia

Culture and traditions play an important part in Asian society. Even with the influence of foreign culture, the unique and defining cultures of Asian countries remained resilient. To this day, it is practiced even in day to day activities. Here are some Asian facts that you need to know:

  • Food
    Food is the center of any country’s culture. In Asia, the diversity of food creates a unique identity for different countries. There is, however, one staple that defines all Asian cuisine and that staple is rice. Rice has played a big part in Asia’s food culture and you can find rice just about anywhere in Asia!
    Noodles is another popular Asian food. Like rice, you can basically find it anywhere in Asia, especially in the southeast and eastern parts of the continent. Different versions of noodles can be experienced in different parts of Asia. For example, Pho is a popular noodle soup in Vietnam, while in Japan, they have ramen and soba. In Korea, spicy noodles are the trend.
    Roasting is also a famous method of cooking scrumptious delicacies in Asia. The Philippines is known for its slow-roasted pig called Lechon. The dish is prepared by slow-roasting a whole pig on a spit in an open charcoal fire. The process is traditionally done by manually rotating the spit, which can take hours to complete. In China, slow-roasted Peking duck is their specialty. While this delicacy is mouth-wateringly delicious, it can be so expensive that you can only experience the best Peking duck in the most luxurious restaurants and hotels.
  • Marriage
    In Asia, marriage customs and its culture and traditions define its people. In some Asian countries, marriage begins by paying a dowry. The dowry is “paid” by the bride’s family to the groom in exchange for his proposal. This tradition began as an assurance that the groom will take care and provide for the bride.
    Unlike in a traditional US wedding where the bride pays for the majority of the wedding expenses, in Asia, it is the groom who shoulders all the expenses. However, due to the changing times and the modernization of society, sharing the load has become widely accepted.
  • Community
    Cultural differences in western and Asian communities are not surprising. While western culture allows its women to be more liberal, Asian culture dictates its women to be more reserved. This is why most Asian women you will meet are generally shy and submissive. In order for you to get to know an Asian woman better, you will need to learn and understand her culture.
    Hitting it up with her is only half of the journey, if you want to build a relationship with an Asian woman, you will need to understand the Dos and Don’ts of her culture. An example of this is PDA or public display of affection. While this is okay in most western countries, in Asia, it is highly frowned upon. You should also learn about the importance of family. When dating an Asian woman, you are basically dating her whole family as well. This does not mean that you should follow whatever her family says, you just need to know how to deal with them in a positive manner.

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