By P Boomgaard
Water, in its many guises, has continually performed a robust position in shaping Southeast Asian histories, cultures, societies, and economies. those essays characterize a huge diversity of ways to the research of Southeast Asia with water because the vital topic. because it was once uncovered to the ocean, the area used to be extra obtainable to outdoors political, monetary and cultural affects than many landlocked parts. quick access via sea routes additionally motivated exchange. in spite of the fact that, a similar easy accessibility made Southeast Asia prone to political keep an eye on by way of robust outsiders. the ocean is, in addition, a resource of nutrients, but in addition of many risks. whilst, Southeast Asian societies and cultures are faced with and permeated by means of "water from heaven" within the kind 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 function of water in category platforms, ideals, myths, disorder, and therapeutic.
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Additional resources for A world of water: rain, rivers and seas in Southeast Asian histories
Another major route linked land and sea travel at the Red Sea ports of Mocha and Aden, feeding Indian Ocean commodities into Europe and Asia Minor. In mainland Southeast Asia caravan trails linked Northern Burma and Siam to Vietnam and Southern China, and by the mid seventeenth century, at least, relatively densely populated Java also had a few major roads with toll-gates and permanent bridges. While these routes might have been much more labour intensive, they did offer inland populations the chance to seek the most favourable economic and political conditions for their transactions.
As always, there were winners and losers, but perhaps the most spectacular success was reserved for the Chinese. During the ‘long eighteenth century’ the economic logic of new markets and commodities shaped the pattern of trade, and Sino-Anglo cooperation was central to this process. Country traders, Chinese junks and Indonesian perahu – particularly those of the recalcitrant Bugis from South Sulawesi (Celebes) – met in harbours and exchanged cargoes from Sulu to the Straits. These profitable relationships were later to be epitomized in the role of Singapore, established in 1819.
16. 22 Ptak 1992:320; Souza 1987; Subrahmanyam 1993:208; Kathirithamby-Wells 1999:262-3. Geography as destiny? 37 new and profitable possibilities to harbours along their way. But the opposite was no doubt also true: port-polities able to provide a range of goods and services could draw business away from less well-managed rivals, who might actually have had a more advantageous location. All these contacts fuelled cultural exchange and stimulated innovation. The adaptation of elements from Indian religions by Southeast Asian elites is one of the best-known examples of this process.