By P Boomgaard
Water, in its many guises, has consistently performed a strong function in shaping Southeast Asian histories, cultures, societies, and economies. those essays symbolize a large variety of ways to the examine of Southeast Asia with water because the critical subject matter. because it used to be uncovered to the ocean, the zone was once extra obtainable to outdoor political, financial and cultural impacts than many landlocked components. easy accessibility via sea routes additionally influenced alternate. although, an identical quick access made Southeast Asia liable to political keep an eye on via robust outsiders. the ocean is, additionally, a resource of foodstuff, but in addition of many risks. while, Southeast Asian societies and cultures are faced with and permeated via "water from heaven" within the type of rain, flash floods, irrigation water, water in rivers, brooks, and swaps, water-driven strength vegetation, and pumped or piped water, as well as water as a service of sewage and pollutants. eventually, the amount bargains with the position of water in category structures, ideals, myths, sickness, and therapeutic.
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Extra info for A world of water: rain, rivers and seas in Southeast Asian histories
Over thousands of years, Asian waters have been much traveled, and it has often been suggested that the central dynamic of Southeast Asian history is to be found in the interaction between peoples, primarily through trade: down the rivers, along the coasts, across the seas and oceans. If this focus was once restricted to ‘island Southeast Asia’ (Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines), more recent research, as we will see below, acknowledges the crucial significance of trade on ‘the mainland’ (Myanmar or Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam).
Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. 22 Peter Boomgaard Lansing, J. Stephen 1991 Priests and programmers; Technologies of power in the engineered landscape of Bali. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Lieberman, Victor 2003 Strange parallels; Southeast Asia in global context, c. 800-1830. Volume 1: Integration on the mainland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lucas, Anton, with Arief Djati 2000 The dog is dead so throw it in the river; Environmental politics and water pollution in Indonesia.
But we should not assume that this must have meant a decline in Asians’ business. On the contrary, even if their relative share of the maritime economy shrank, the actual intensity, volume and value of their commerce may have increased. Moreover, it seems that there was no Southeast Asia-wide decline in Asian trade. While the Dutch East India Company might have increasingly squeezed the Malay world (and the extent of this was subject to variation), the situation for the mainland was indeed very different.
A world of water: rain, rivers and seas in Southeast Asian histories by P Boomgaard