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Asia (/ˈʒə, ˈʃə/ (audio speaker iconlisten)) is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe, and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with Africa and Europe. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Its 4.7 billion people constitutes roughly 60% of the world's population.

In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. A commonly accepted division places Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, separating it from Europe.

China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions. (Full article...)

Featured article

The Bengali language movement (Bengali: ভাষা আন্দোলন, Bhasha Andolôn) was a political movement in former East Bengal (renamed East Pakistan in 1952) advocating the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language of the then-Dominion of Pakistan in order to allow its use in government affairs, the continuation of its use as a medium of education, its use in media, currency and stamps, and to maintain its writing in the Bengali script.

When the Dominion of Pakistan was formed after the separation of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 when the British left, it was composed of various ethnic and linguistic groups, with the geographically non-contiguous East Bengal province having a mainly Bengali population. In 1948, the Government of the Dominion of Pakistan ordained Urdu as the sole national language, sparking extensive protests among the Bengali-speaking majority of East Bengal. Facing rising sectarian tensions and mass discontent with the new law, the government outlawed public meetings and rallies. The students of the University of Dhaka and other political activists defied the law and organised a protest on 21 February 1952. The movement reached its climax when police killed student demonstrators on that day. The deaths provoked widespread civil unrest. After years of conflict, the central government relented and granted official status to the Bengali language in 1956. (Full article...)
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Brunei (/brˈn/ (audio speaker iconlisten) broo-NY, Malay: [brunaɪ] (audio speaker iconlisten)), formally Brunei Darussalam (Malay: Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi: نڬارا بروني دارالسلام, lit.'Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace'), is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its South China Sea coast, it is completely surrounded by the Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is separated into two parts by the Sarawak district of Limbang. Brunei is the only sovereign state entirely on Borneo; the remainder of the island is divided between Malaysia and Indonesia. As of 2020, its population was 460,345, of whom about 100,000 live in the capital and largest city, Bandar Seri Begawan. The government is an absolute monarchy ruled by its Sultan, entitled the Yang di-Pertuan, and implements a combination of English common law and sharia law, as well as general Islamic practices.

At the peak of the Bruneian Empire, Sultan Bolkiah (reigned 1485–1528) is claimed to have had control over most regions of Borneo, including modern-day Sarawak and Sabah, as well as the Sulu Archipelago off the northeast tip of Borneo, and the islands off the northwest tip of Borneo. Claims also state that they had control over Seludong (or the Kingdom of Maynila, where the modern-day Philippine capital Manila now stands) but Southeast Asian scholars believe this refers to a settlement Mount Selurong in Indonesia. The maritime state of Brunei was visited by Spain's Magellan Expedition in 1521 and fought against Spain in the 1578 Castilian War. (Full article...)

Featured biography

Dinar of al-Mu'tadid, AH 285.jpg

Abū al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Ṭalḥa al-Muwaffaq (Arabic: أبو العباس أحمد بن طلحة الموفق), 853/4 or 860/1 – 5 April 902, better known by his regnal name al-Muʿtaḍid bi-llāh (Arabic: المعتضد بالله, "Seeking Support in God"), was the caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate from 892 until his death in 902.

Al-Mu'tadid was the son of al-Muwaffaq, who was the regent and effective ruler of the Abbasid state during the reign of his brother, Caliph al-Mu'tamid. As a prince, the future al-Mu'tadid served under his father during various military campaigns, most notably in the suppression of the Zanj Rebellion, in which he played a major role. When al-Muwaffaq died in June 891 al-Mu'tadid succeeded him as regent. He quickly sidelined his cousin and heir-apparent al-Mufawwid; when al-Mu'tamid died in October 892, he succeeded to the throne. Like his father, al-Mu'tadid's power depended on his close relations with the army. These were first forged during the campaigns against the Zanj and were reinforced in later expeditions which the Caliph led in person: al-Mu'tadid would prove to be the most militarily active of all Abbasid caliphs. Through his energy and ability, he succeeded in restoring to the Abbasid state some of the power and provinces it had lost during the turmoil of the previous decades. (Full article...)

General images

The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.

Featured picture

The Toda people are a small pastoral tribe of less than 1,000 people who reside in the Nilgiri hills of Southern India. Shown here is a typical Toda hut, about 3 m (10 ft.) high, 5.5 m (18 ft.) long and 2.7 m (9 ft.) wide. They are built of bamboo fastened with rattan and thatched. The hut has only a tiny (about 0.9 x 0.9 m, 3 x 3 ft.) entrance at the front, which serves as protection from wild animals.

Did you know...

  • ... that a few months after Lü Peijian was appointed China's auditor general, he announced the discovery of more than US$1.6 billion worth of tax evasion, fraud, and waste?
  • ... that comedian Atsugiri Jason became the first non-Japanese finalist on the R-1 Grand Prix in 2014?
  • ... that a collection of kimono assembled by Nasser Khalili covers four periods of Japanese history?
  • ... that the anandalahari is an Indian chordophone musical instrument used by religious singers of the Baul faith?
  • ... that Liang Baibo and Yu Feng were among China's first female cartoonists?
  • ... that the yawara is a Japanese weapon that is used for martial arts and was used by American police?
  • ... that Gongnyong Ridge in Seoraksan National Park, South Korea, acquired its name (lit. 'Dinosaur Ridge') from its peaks looking as "vigorous and dynamic as a dinosaur rising from the ground"?
  • ... that students participating in the 1968–69 Japanese university protests were known for ruthlessly interrogating and verbally abusing professors, sometimes for days on end?
  • ... that the death of Uyghur writer Nurmuhemmet Tohti has been linked to mistreatment in the Xinjiang internment camps, a claim China denies?
  • ... that Pennsylvania Treasurer-elect Stacy Garrity was nicknamed "The Angel of the Desert" in the Iraq War?

Updated: 1:33, 20 March 2022

In the news

20 March 2022 –
South Korean car company Hyundai announces that the Genesis Motor brand has surpassed 700,000 units in accumulative global sales. (Korea Herald)
Nowruz 1401 Iranian nation new solar hijri year and new 14th century beginning.
19 March 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Asia
COVID-19 pandemic in India
Maharashtra reports 97 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, making it the first time that the Indian state has reported less than 100 new cases of COVID-19 since April 2020. (Business Standard)
COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China

Updated: 7:33, 20 March 2022

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150pxLuang Prabang, Laos

Panorama of the city of Luang Prabang in northern Laos, as seen from Phu Si hill. The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name, and after Laos's independence from France, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. This view features the Nam Khan river on the left, and Luang Prabang International Airport on the very far left.



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Orthographic map of Africa with colonial borders, except Somalia.
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North America (orthographic projection)
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"The Blue Marble" is a famous photograph of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft en route to the Moon at a distance of about 29,000 kilometres (18,000 mi). It shows Africa, Antarctica, and the Arabian Peninsula.
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Flag of Iran. The tricolor flag was introduced in 1906, but after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 the Arabic words 'Allahu akbar' ('God is great'), written in the Kufic script of the Qur'an and repeated 22 times, were added to the red and green strips where they border the white central strip and in the middle is the emblem of Iran (which is a stylized Persian alphabet of the Arabic word Allah ("God")).
The official ISIRI standard (translation at FotW) gives two slightly different methods of construction for the flag: a compass-and-straightedge construction used for File:Flag of Iran (official).svg, and a "simplified" construction sheet with rational numbers used for this file.
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Flag of Israel. Shows a Magen David (“Shield of David”) between two stripes. The Shield of David is a traditional Jewish symbol. The stripes symbolize a Jewish prayer shawl (tallit).
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Flag of Malaysia – Jalur Gemilang (Stripes of Glory)
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The national flag of Kingdom of Thailand since September 2017; there are total of 3 colours:
  • Red represents the blood spilt to protect Thailand’s independence and often more simply described as representing the nation.
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The route of Marco Polo's journey to the east
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Borobudur temple Park, Indonesia: Open stupa at sunrise.
Shah Abbas the Great receiving the Mughal ambassador Khan’Alam in 1618.jpg
This painting is depicting Shah Abbas receiving the Mughal ambassador Khan ‘ Alam in 1618. Shah Abbas sits to the right of the composition in the middle of a hilly landscape offering a gold wine cup to the Mughal ambassador. Their suite composed by dignitaries, musicians and pages surrounds them.

A nasta’liq inscription identifying the scene has been rubbed at the bottom of the painting.

A closely related painting of a later date is kept in the collection of the British Museum and published in: Canby, S. (2009) Shah ‘Abbas – The Remaking of Iran, London: The British Museum Press, p. 63.

Our painting might be the prototype for the British Museum’s painting.

Another painting related in the treatment of the composition and the figures, recently acquired by the Custodia Foundation, is ascribed to the painter Farhad (Inv. 2009-T.23).
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Map of Oceania
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Map of Delhi sultanate 1206-1526.
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Audio pronunciation of the term 'Asia' in United States English.
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Portrait of Emperor Gojong of Korea (1852-1919), Yi Myeong-bok, wearing Tongcheonggwan and Gangsapo
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Philippine Food
Angkor Wat.jpg
Author/Creator: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Angkor Wat, the front side of the main complex, photographed in the late afternoon
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Original creator: Mossmaps

Corrections according to Oxford Atlas of World History 2002, The Times Atlas of World History (1989), Philip's Atlas of World History (1999) by पाटलिपुत्र (talk), Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent according to Oxford Atlas of World History 2002.


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Author/Creator: The Collage has been created by Armanaziz for using as Asia Portal Banner based on share-alike images created by Berthold Werner, Andrew Shiva, Yann Forget, Jean-Pierre Dalbéra and Dirk Beyer as described above., Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
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Author/Creator: Benh LIEU SONG, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Panorama of Luang Prabang, north Laos, seen from Phu Si hill. This view features the Nam Khan river on the left, and the Luang Prabang airport on the very far left.
History of Korea-476.PNG
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The map of history of Korea in 476, the moment of greatest territorial expansion of Goguryeo.
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Author/Creator: Cacahuate, amendments by Peter Fitzgerald, Globe-trotter, Joelf, and Texugo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Map of Asia's regions and countries for use on Wikivoyage, English version
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Tandoori Chicken, Mumbai
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The Great Wall of China at Jinshanling
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Author/Creator: Tawashi2006, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Hondō of Daian-ji at Nara, Nara Pref., Japan.
Chinese silk, 4th Century BC.JPG
Detail of an embroidered silk gauze ritual garment from a 4th century BC, Zhou era tomb at Mashan, Hubei province, China. The flowing, curvilinear design incorporates dragons, phoenixes, and tigers. Rows of even, round chain-stitches are used both for outline and to fill in color.
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(c) Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0
The Dome of the Rock (Arabic: مسجد قبة الصخرة‎, Hebrew: כיפת הסלע), on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.
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Sunset in Kuznetsk Alatau, South Siberia.
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Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem)‎
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Language Families spoken in Asia
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Portrait of Taejo Wanggun
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A green flag with a white inscription above a crescent moon with horns upwards, all within a circle of chain and all around a white wreath with a ribbon at the base. Proportion 2:3 reported in Pavillons nationaux et marques distinctives. FOTW
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Latin America (orthographic projection). In grey Canada, USA, Belize, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Falklands.
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Mumbai city skyline on a clear sunny day
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A chart showing the project share of global GDP (purchasing power parity) to 2050
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Detail of Dragon Throne, Qing dynasty, from Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong exhibition on loan from Beijing. Picture taken at Field Museum of Natural History

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Map showing the Bronze Age collapse (conflicts and movements of people).
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The Great Wave at Kanagawa. Designed by Hokusai
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Hut of Toda tribe (Nilgiris, India)
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Fort St. George, in Madras (Chennai)
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Pronunciation of the term in US English
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Gyeonghoeru(pavllion) in Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea. The pavilion are designated as the 224th National Treasure of South Korea.
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The map of Asia shows the Western power possessions and changes of political situations on Asia in the end of 19th century and early 20th century AD.
Kircher writes: "Here I think it fitting to include drawings of Fr. Adam Schall, who is dressed as a mandarin of the Department of Astronomy, and of the Sino-Tartar King." (Page 109, in a modern English translation by Dr. Charles D. Van Tuyl)
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1832 French map of China and Japan by Lapie, Alexandre Emile; Lapie, M. (Pierre); published by Eymery Fruger et Cie in Paris.
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Hinduism expansion in Asia, from its heartland in Indian Subcontinent, to the rest of Asia, especially Southeast Asia, started circa 1st century marked with the establishment of early Hindu settlements and polities in Southeast Asia.
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A Confucian ritual ceremony in Autumn in Jeju, South Korea. After the ritual ceremony, they burn anstral tablets made of paper.
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Byzantine and Sassanid empires and their vassals at the beginning of 7th century CE. Based on the http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:East-Hem_600ad.jpg by User:Talessman
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Robert Clive and Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey, 1757, by Francis Hayman. See source website for additional information.
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Srirangam Main entrance Another view
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Cuisine of Bali
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Taj Mahal, Agra. FP on the English Wikipedia.
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Angus Maddison, The World Economy, 261
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The territory of Balhae, In 830s during the reign of king Seon of Balhae. Territory of Balhae in 830..
The outline of the map of China (incl. both People's Republic of China and Republic of China administered territory; excl. territorial waters and their claimed territory).
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Ancient ziggurat at Ali Air Base Iraq
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China overtakes the United States in 2014, Indian GDP might catches up to US by 2050, Indonesia could be the fourth largest economy in the mid 2030s.
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East Asian Cultural Sphere
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Taipei 101 and Taipei Nan Shan Plaza on a sunny day.
Dinar of al-Mu'tadid, AH 285.jpg
ISLAMIC, 'Abbasid Caliphate. Al-Mu'tadid. AH 279-289 / AD 892-902. AV Dinar (22mm, 2.17 g, 2h). Donative type. Dated AH 285 (AD 892/3). Name of Al-Mu’tadid, la ilah (for Allah) above; Kalima in margin / Amir el-muminin (Commander of the Faithful); AH date in margin. Album 241A. EF, faint earthen deposits in letters. Very rare.
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Celadon Incense Burner from the Korean Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), with kingfisher glaze, is the National Treasure of South Korea #95 and is currently on display at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. 12th century Korea.
Angkor Wat reflejado en un estanque 02.jpg
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Main temple [Bakan], reflected on the northern reflection pond of Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, Cambodia
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The inside of Grand mosque in Kuwait
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A statue of the Buddha in Hacienda Heights, California.
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The approximate territory of the Zhou dynasty in China. Drawn by Ian Kiu. Derived from China_map.png by Nat.
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Battle of Talas
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Author/Creator: Yliya Medvedeva, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
This is a photo of a cultural heritage object in Russia, number:
Great Game cartoon from 1878.jpg
The Great Game: the afghan Emir Sher Ali Khan with his "friends" Russia and Great Britain. Text: "Save me from my friends."