India pivots eastwards to Southeast Asia

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A conference was held last week in New Delhi on the cultural links between India and Southeast Asia with the aim of establishing research links between India and Southeast Asia.

India, Asean reconnect through ancient cultural linkages, 23 July 2015

“Political security and economic cooperation must go hand in hand with the socio-cultural connection and people-to-people linkages,” he said.

Citing examples, he said that excavations have found evidence of Indian links in the first century AD in Myanmar in the city of Beikthano, also known as City of Vishnu. Coins, statues of Hindu deities, and statues of the Buddha have been found.

In central Thailand, evidence of Indian influence is found through Dvaravati form of representing the Buddha, in the 2nd century AD, which is derived from Indian Amaravati and Gupta styles, which were integrated with local art.

In Cham, in southern Vietnam, there is evidence of extensive influence of Indian culture, through many ancient Shiva temples.

Evidence has been found of extensive trade with the Southeast Asian countries from the Gupta dynasty in the 4th-6th century AD. Tamralipti, an ancient Indian city in the Bay of Bengal, was a busy centre of maritime trade, with ships travelling to the Malay peninsula, the Nicobar islands and to the Strait of Malacca.

Trade with the Asean is an important aspect of India’s links with the region, and India is its fourth largest trading partner, he said.

Full story here.

Vietnam wants to remove foreign-looking lion statues

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Vietnamese lions. Source: Viet Nam News 20140823

The Vietnamese Ministry of Culture has released an advisory to temples and heritage properties discouraging the use of non-Vietnamese lion statues. It seems like an attempt to maintain an idea of “pure” Vietnamese-ness… whatever that means.

Vietnamese lions. Source: Viet Nam News 20140823

Vietnamese lions. Source: Viet Nam News 20140823

Vietnamese lions to roar again
Viet Nam News, 23 August 2014
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Angkor is a Living Site

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Abandoned jungle complexes, once home of a great civilisation, deserted ruins… do these spring to mind when you think about Angkor? What about local, living culture? Perhaps it’s time to reassess the idea of Angkor as a long-past civilisation – much of the lifestyle depicted on the walls of the Angkor temples still continue on today. How would tourism be different today if Angkor was treated as a living site that shares a relationship with the people in the area rather than a collection of monumental temples?

Angkor strives to balance culture with tourism
The Phnom Penh Post, 04 December 2008
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Categories: Angkor Cambodia Tourism


Filming Of Perak Man Documentary To Kick Off In November


13 September 2006 (Bernama) – A documentary on the Perak Man is in the works! – and expected to be out on HD no less, in Novemeber. The documentary will also feature other stone-age sites like Gua Cha and Tingkayu.

Filming Of Perak Man Documentary To Kick Off In November

The filming of a documentary on the 11,000 year-old Perak Man, Peninsular Malaysia’s oldest inhabitant, will begin in November.

Novista Sdn Bhd managing director Harun Rahman said the company was in the final stage of discussions with the National Film Corporation (Finas) on the script and the filming of the documentary titled “Perak Man”, in High Definition TV.

The company had held talks with the Heritage Commissioner of the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry, Prof Datuk Dr Zuraina Majid, who led the archaeological team that found the complete skeleton of the homo sapien, Harun told Bernama here.

Novista is a local documentary specialist established in 1992, which among others has been involved in natural history, culture, heritage and adventure videos.

It has been appointed by the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry to do a documentary on the Perak Man as a move to preserve the national heritage of the country for the benefit of the future generations.