If youâ€™re in the area, KaalaChakra: The Wheel of Time is a current exhibition at the National Library of Singapore showcasing the influence of Indian culture into ancient Southeast Asia. With the kind permission of the National Library Board, SEAArch brings you highlights from this fascinating exhibition.
The term â€˜Indianizationâ€™ was coined in the early 20th century and was seen as a cultural colonization of Southeast Asia â€“ the idea was that Indian princes and merchants would set up colonies and trading posts in Southeast Asia (notably, Suvarnabhumi and Suvarnadvipa) in their desire to build trade with China. In doing so â€œconvertedâ€ local populations into their Indian way of life and religion. Yes, the theory sounds awfully colonial in its thinking, and it fed to another underlying assumption that Southeast Asia was an archaeological backwater compared to the great civilisations of India and China.
From the National Library of Singapore:
By: Associate Professor (A/P) John Miksic from the National University of Singaporeâ€™s Department of Southeast Asian Studies]
Date/Time : 29 Feb 2008, 7pm
Venue: National Library of Singapore, 100 Victoria Street, Visitors’ briefing room
If a person desires to relive the memories from ancient history, it will be impossible to ignore the importance of evidence based on archaeological research. The KaalaChakra exhibition at Level 10 of the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library showcases some artefacts, archaeological and inscriptional evidences which embark us on backward journey into time.
Come and be amazed by Associate Professor (A/P) John Miksic from the National University of Singaporeâ€™s Department of Southeast Asian Studies as he takes us through an explorative journey of archaeological traces in Southeast Asia that early Indians left behind in the region! In his talk, A/P Miksic will also touch on architectural influence in some of Southeast Asian temples, such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, which evidence the ancient Indian touch in this part of Asia.
A/P John Miksic first arrived in Singapore in 1968 while in the Peace Corps in Kedah, Malaysia He has spent most of his life in Southeast Asia, namely Malaysia Indonesia and Singapore. A/P Miksic has had two types of careers: the first being a rural development adviser, the other as an archaeologist and lecturer.
His main activity over the past 20 years has been archaeological research in Singapore. He also continues research projects in Indonesia, particularly Java and Sumatra. In recent years, A/P Miksic also become deeply involved in Cambodia, especially the period leading to the foundation of Angkor, coupled with some work with graduate students on Myanmar.
A/P Miksicâ€™s academic qualifications encompass a Ph.D. in Anthropology (Cornell University), M.A. Anthropology (Cornell University), an M.A. International Affairs (Ohio University) and B.A. Anthropology (Dartmouth College)