Anthropology refers to organization of humans in the society. It is concerned with the study of human beings and their origin. Over the past four decades, the Asian region has been one of the most dynamic regions in the entire globe.
Some countries in East and Southeast of Asia, such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore began as poor countries but today, most of them have turned out to be middle income economies. The following essay examines the anthropological perspective and how it can help in understanding the concept of what makes Asia, ‘Asia’.
Politics and culture of representation have played an important role in making Asia, ‘Asia’. There have been changes over the years in the Asian culture concerning the roles of women. In the past, the culture was very oppressive on them but this has changed and today, women in many Asian countries have been given freedom and their rights are recognized.
For example, women in Indonesia are allowed to actively participate in politics, something that was prohibited in the past. They have also been given access to education and early marriages have been discouraged.
The economic and political strength of many states across Asia are also factors that can help us understand this concept. Asian countries have been viewed as the homes of economic transformation, which has been enhanced by political strengths.
Major reforms on domestic politics have helped in improving the economic performance of many South Asian states such as Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia. The presence of a vibrant civil society has also played an important role in ensuring that positive economic developments are achieved in many Asian countries.
Performance art has become a common practice in Asia. It includes all kinds of theatrical productions and can be traced back to the early Futurist manifestos and the Dada era. In China, the art is practiced throughout the country. Nuba body painting and body piercing have been integrated with performance arts in China.
The urbanization process has brought about economic, cultural and political complexities throughout the Asian region. In recent times, most cities across Asian countries have been transformed because of globalization and the effects have been greatly felt throughout Asia.
This is because; many cities serve as sources of production of goods and services. Workers who work in these production locations are lowly paid, thus making them to be economically deprived. Despite the economic deprivation in major cities across Asia, the growing affluent provide market for commodities that are generated.
Other aspects that can help us understand the concept of what makes Asia, ‘Asia’ are dual symbolic classification and the presence of polyethic societies. Dual classification is widely practiced in many Asian countries such as Indonesia. The concept exists in many conventional expressions and ritual processes. Various symbolic operators are used during birth, headhunting and circumcision of men. With regard to polyethic societies, individuals from diverse backgrounds coexist harmoniously throughout Asia region.
Asia is the largest continent in the entire globe and more than half of the world’s population lives there. A large percentage of urban dwellers are also found in Asia. The paper has discussed in details aspects which make Asia, ‘Asia’. These aspects include: the politics and culture, economic and political strength, performance arts, the urbanization process and dual symbolic classification.