Culture and Religion of Asia
Asia has a long history and diverse culture. Among the four ancient civilizations in the world, China, India, and Ancient Babylon are all located on this massive continent. Speaking of religions in Asia, all world religions were born in Asia, such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism. Please keep reading to know more about the culture and religion of Asia.
Culture in Asia
Due to the vast area and many ethnic groups in Asia, there are sharp differences in cultural diversity between each country. Thus, there is almost no unified "Asian culture".
In Asia, there are about 1,000 ethnic groups in the whole continent, accounting for about 80% of the total number of ethnic groups in the world. Among them, there are Han people with a population of more than one billion, and there are ethnic groups or tribes with only a few hundred people. That is to say, the culture of each country may vary from region to region, let alone the entire Asia.
The Grand Palace in Thailand
Before the beginning of the industrial revolution in the 18th century, since the world's economic center of gravity was in Asia, most of the technological achievements of humankind were generated in Asia. As early as 3000 BC, Asians had invented pottery and smelting ore; Sumerians in Asia first invented writing and systematic irrigation works, and nomads in Central Asia invented saddles, harnesses, and wheels. Chinese People invented porcelain, stirrups, gunpowder, compasses, papermaking and printing, and first planted rice. The Indians and Arabs invented the decimal calculation technique. Various local medical technologies in Asia are very effective even today, and they are still used in many regions.
Many musical instruments in the West and the East have the same origin, so they are very similar, such as violin and erhu, guitar and pipa (lute), oboe and suona, and flute. In fact, most of these instruments originated in the Middle East.
The cultures of various Asian nations such as China, Arabia and India have a huge influence on world culture. All world religions were born in Asia, such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.
Religions in Asia
As we've mentioned above, Asia is the birthplace of Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. In Asia, the three major religions are Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism. However, beliefs in Asia vary from different regions.
The Mongolian and Tibetan regions of China, Bhutan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Malaysia, and Indonesia mainly believe in Buddhism. The official Chinese saying is that there is no religious belief, people believe in communism, and the mainstream of religion among folks is Buddhism.
Western Asia and the Middle East are mostly Islam, only north, such as Syria, Lebanon, there are some Christians. The five Central Asian countries and Afghanistan and Pakistan are mostly Islamic.
In South Asia, India, and Sri Lanka are Hindus. In India, Hindus accounted for 83% of the population. After the introduction of Islam in India in the eighth century, it has gradually become the second-largest religion, and Buddhists are few, even less than Sikhs.
In addition to the three mainstream religions in Asia, North Korea believes in Kim's father and son. South Korea follows the United States and has a certain percentage of Christians. At present, Christianity and Buddhism are equally divided. Japan is a polytheistic country, and mainstream society believes in Buddhism and Shintoism; Russia is Orthodox. There are more Christians in the Philippines; Israel is Judaism.
Taoism is a traditional religion that originated in ancient China. It is an original religious form of polytheism that worships many gods. The main purpose is to pursue Taoism into immortals, to rescue the world, and to use Laozi's "Dao De Jing" as the main classic. It not only occupies an important position in Chinese traditional culture, but also has a certain influence on the modern world.
Taoism regards "Tao" as the highest belief and believes that "Tao" is the original principle of all things in the metabolic universe. In traditional Chinese culture, Taoism (including Taoism, warlocks, etc.) is considered to be a dominant theoretical doctrine along with Confucianism and Buddhism, and seeks methods for practicing to become immortals.
Buddhism was formed in the 6th century BC in the northern part of the South Asian subcontinent near India and Nepal. The founder of the ancient India is Gautama Siddhartha (about 566-486 BC), belonging to the Shakya tribe, and later known as Shakyamuni. Hinduism and Buddhism are inextricably linked, and India is the birthplace of the two religions. The earliest origin of religious thought can be traced back to the development of civilization in the Indus Valley (2600 BC-1900 BC).
Buddhism, it can be said that it originated in India, has also flourished in India, especially during the Ashoka period, but then Hinduism rose and Islamic invasion, Buddhism gradually declined. China has contributed to the development of Buddhism.
Buddhism denies that there are gods that create the universe and dominate everything, and Brahma. Buddhism is religious and non-religious, philosophical and non-philosophical, and scientific and non-science. It is close to atheism, and there is no almighty god, or world domination. Instead, it is proposed that all beings are equal, and this is the greatest feature of Buddhism.
Islam originated in the Arabian Peninsula in Asia and was founded by the Mecca Muhammad (570-632 AD) in the 7th century AD as a monotheism. Medina and Mecca are Islamic shrines, and the Quran is the highest classic.
From the middle of the 7th century, Islam was brought into China through activities, such as the trade in Mongolia and the Westward Expedition. At the end of the 13th century, it was introduced to Sumatra, Indonesia, and later to Malacca and other places. In the 14th and 15th centuries, it was introduced into the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, and other countries, and once became the state religion of certain kingdoms.
Christianity originated in Bethlehem in West Asia and Palestine. The founder was the Jewish Nazareth Jesus Christ. Jerusalem is a holy place for Christianity, and the Bible is the highest classic.
The religious beliefs of Asian countries are dominated by Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, but there is a country where 85% of its citizens believe in Christian Catholicism, which is the Philippines. The number of Christians in the country is close to 90 million, with the most Christians in Asian countries.