Portal:Asia

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Globe centered on Asia, with Asia highlighted. The continent is shaped like a right-angle triangle, with Europe to the west, oceans to the south and east and Oceania to the south-east.

Asia (/ˈʒə, ˈʃə/ (About this sound listen)) 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 both Europe and Africa. 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. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people constitute 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. The most commonly accepted boundaries place 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 Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, as well as many other religions.

Selected panorama

Luang Prabang, Laos
Credit: Benh Lieu Song

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.

Featured picture

Rambutan
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

An unpeeled and a peeled rambutan, the fruit of the rambutan tree. The plant is native to the Malay Archipelago and can be found through much of Southeast Asia, although its exact distribution remains unknown. The name is derived from the Malay word rambut, which literally means 'hairy'. The fruit flesh is translucent, whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavour.

Featured biography

Choe Bu (1454–1504) was a Korean official during the early Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). He is most well known for the account of his shipwrecked travels in China from February to July 1488, during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). He was eventually banished from the Joseon court in 1498 and executed in 1504 during two political purges. However, in 1506 he was exonerated and given posthumous honors by the Joseon court. Choe's diary accounts of his travels in China became widely printed in the 16th century in both Korea and Japan. Modern historians also utilize his written works, since his travel diary provides a unique outsider's perspective on Chinese culture in the 15th century and valuable information on China's cities and regional differences. The attitudes and opinions expressed in his writing represent in part the standpoints and views of the 15th century Confucian Korean literati, who viewed Chinese culture as compatible with and similar to their own. His description of cities, people, customs, cuisines, and maritime commerce along China's Grand Canal provides insight into the daily life of China and how it differed between northern and southern China during the 15th century.Choe Bu of the Jeonju Choe clan was born in 1454 in the prefectural town of Naju in Jeollanam-do, Korea. Choe passed the jinsa examinations in 1477,which was a lower examination that did not immediately ensure a post in government; rather, it permitted enrollment in the National Academy, or Seonggyungwan, where he could study further for the higher mungwa examinations.


Featured article

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. It is the world's largest religious building. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian Hindu architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs, and for the numerous devatas (guardian spirits) adorning its walls.The modern name, Angkor Wat, means "City Temple"; Angkor is a vernacular form of the word nokor (នគរ), which comes from the Sanskrit word nagar (नगर), Thai, Nakon, meaning capital or city. Wat is the Khmer word which comes from Sanskrit word "Vastu". Prior to this time the temple was known as Preah Pisnulok (Vara Vishnuloka in Sanskrit), after the posthumous title of its founder, Suryavarman II.


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In the news

Wikinews Asia portal
  • July 21: Indian Supreme Court: unconstitutional to bar women of certain age group from entering Sabarimala temple
  • July 20: Hindi poet and songwriter Gopal Das Neeraj dies, aged 93
  • July 16: France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2018 FIFA World Cup
  • July 16: FIFA World Cup 2018: Belgium beats England 2-0 to claim third place finish
  • July 13: FIFA World Cup 2018 semifinals: Croatia sends England home, 2-1
  • July 13: FIFA World Cup 2018 semifinals: Umtiti scores only goal, France reaches finals beating Belgium
  • July 10: FIFA World Cup 2018 quarterfinals: England beats Sweden, Croatia knocks out hosts Russia
  • July 9: FIFA World Cup 2018 quarterfinals: France, Belgium beat Uruguay, Brazil
  • July 6: FIFA World Cup 2018 Last 16: Sweden, England knock out Switzerland, Colombia
  • July 5: FIFA World Cup 2018 Last 16: Brazil, Belgium advance at expense of Mexico, Japan


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