Complexity: the Southeast Asian Truth

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Submitted By bigace360
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Complexity: The Southeast Asian Truth
In the Introduction to the book, Everyday Life In Southeast Asia, the editors Kathleen M. Adams and Kathleen A. Gillogly briefly explains what makes Southeast Asia so diverse and the importance of regional studies in a global era of the world. The authors argue in the introduction that Southeast Asia is one of the worlds’ most dynamic, complex, and unique regions. The region includes eleven diverse and distinct counties, which some people are unaware of and that are commonly lumped into the general category of Asia. However, this idea is overshadowed internationally by news media, which only portrays Southeast Asia as an exotic vacation location or as historic disaster areas. This chapter represents the author’s efforts to convey to the reader the inherent complexity of Southeast Asia shared through the experiences of diverse people and explorations of their daily lives. This is meant to highlight the details of everyday life which offers a provocative lens for reflecting on more abstract cultural principles prevalent in the region. The authors divide the chapter into four brief parts after an introduction to their studies.
The authors provide metaphorical details for what Southeast Asia is by asking a culture association question, whether the region would be considered a rose, unicorn, sponge, jigsaw puzzle, or a college. What is Southeast Asia? Is it just a subregion of Asia comprised of eleven countries? Or is it more than that a sponge-like region that absorbed the cultural and religious influences of more powerful neighboring areas?
The authors give an example from the Filipino scholar Fernando Zialcita, who points out the term “Southeast Asia”, has been gradually changing in the minds of Southeast Asians. (2) He also explains that Southeast Asians themselves did not have an unifying, common term to identify them with…...

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