Portal:Asia
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Portal:Asia
The Asia Portal
Asia (orthographic projection).svg

Asia 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. 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 Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions. (Full article...)

Featured article

Mysore , officially Mysuru (['ma?'su:?u] ), is a city in the southern part of the state of Karnataka, India. Mysore city is geographically located between 12° 18? 26? north latitude and 76° 38? 59? east longitude. It is located at an altitude of 770 m (2,530 ft) above mean sea level.

Mysore is located in the foothills of the Chamundi Hills about 145.2 km (90 mi) towards the southwest of Bangalore and spread across an area of 155 km2 (60 sq mi). Mysore City Corporation is responsible for the civic administration of the city, which is also the headquarters of the Mysore district and the Mysore division. (Full article...)

Selected Country

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India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: Bh?rat Ga?ar?jya), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia.

Modern humans arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa no later than 55,000 years ago. Their long occupation, initially in varying forms of isolation as hunter-gatherers, has made the region highly diverse, second only to Africa in human genetic diversity. Settled life emerged on the subcontinent in the western margins of the Indus river basin 9,000 years ago, evolving gradually into the Indus Valley Civilisation of the third millennium BCE. By 1200 BCE, an archaic form of Sanskrit, an Indo-European language, had diffused into India from the northwest, unfolding as the language of the Rigveda, and recording the dawning of Hinduism in India. The Dravidian languages of India were supplanted in the northern and western regions. By 400 BCE, stratification and exclusion by caste had emerged within Hinduism, and Buddhism and Jainism had arisen, proclaiming social orders unlinked to heredity. Early political consolidations gave rise to the loose-knit Maurya and Gupta Empires based in the Ganges Basin.

Their collective era was suffused with wide-ranging creativity, but also marked by the declining status of women, and the incorporation of untouchability into an organised system of belief. In South India, the Middle kingdoms exported Dravidian-languages scripts and religious cultures to the kingdoms of Southeast Asia. (Full article...)

Featured biography

Obverse of golden coin depicting a standing, robed and bearded figure holding a long object, with Arabic inscriptions along the coin's rim
Gold dinar minted by the Umayyads in 695, which likely depicts Abd al-Malik.

Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ibn al-Hakam (Arabic: ‎, romanized?Abd al-Malik ibn Marw?n ibn al-?akam; July/August 644 or June/July 647 - 9 October 705) was the fifth Umayyad caliph, ruling from April 685 until his death. A member of the first generation of born Muslims, his early life in Medina was occupied with pious pursuits. He held administrative and military posts under Caliph Mu'awiya I (r. 661-680), founder of the Umayyad Caliphate, and his own father, Caliph Marwan I (r. 684-685). By the time of Abd al-Malik's accession, Umayyad authority had collapsed across the Caliphate as a result of the Second Muslim Civil War and had been reconstituted in Syria and Egypt during his father's reign.

Following a failed invasion of Iraq in 686, Abd al-Malik focused on securing Syria before making further attempts to conquer the greater part of the Caliphate from his principal rival, the Mecca-based caliph Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr. To that end, he concluded an unfavorable truce with the reinvigorated Byzantine Empire in 689, quashed a coup attempt in Damascus by his kinsman, al-Ashdaq, the following year, and reincorporated into the army the rebellious Qaysi tribes of the Jazira (Upper Mesopotamia) in 691. He then conquered Zubayrid Iraq and dispatched his general, al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, to Mecca where he killed Ibn al-Zubayr in late 692, thereby reuniting the Caliphate under Abd al-Malik's rule. The war with Byzantium resumed, resulting in Umayyad advances into Anatolia and Armenia, the destruction of Carthage and the recapture of Kairouan, the launchpad for the later conquests of western North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, in 698. In the east, Abd al-Malik's viceroy, al-Hajjaj, firmly established the caliph's authority in Iraq and Khurasan, stamping out opposition by the Kharijites and the Arab tribal nobility by 702. Abd al-Malik's final years were marked by a domestically peaceful and prosperous consolidation of power. (Full article...)

General images

The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.

Featured picture

Mandarin Ducks by Japanese woodblock artist Hiroshige Utagawa, accompanied by a poem which reads:

Out in a morning wind,
Have seen a pair of mandarin ducks parting.
Even the best loving couple makes a quarrel.

Hiroshige was a member of the Utagawa school, which was founded by Utagawa Toyoharu, whose primary innovation was his adaptation of linear perspective to Japanese subject matter. His pupil, Toyokuni I, took over after Toyoharu's death and raised the group to become the most famous and powerful woodblock print school for the remainder of the 19th century, so much so that today more than half of all surviving ukiyo-e prints are from it. In addition to Hiroshige, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi were Utagawa students.

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Updated: 21:33, 28 September 2021

In the news

28 September 2021 -
Five Sudanese security forces personnel are killed and a sixth is wounded during clashes with an ISIL-linked group in Khartoum. Eleven terrorists are arrested. (Reuters)
28 September 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in India, COVID-19 vaccination in India
The Subject Expert Committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation allows Serum Institute of India to conduct trials of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 7 to 11 years old. (Business Standard)
COVID-19 pandemic in Japan
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announces that the state of emergency that was declared in April is slated to end on September 30, with COVID-19-related restrictions will be gradually eased thenceforth. (NPR)
COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore

Updated: 21:33, 28 September 2021

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150pxSingapore's Marina Bay at Dusk in 2018. From left to right, Marina Bay Sands (MBS), Louis Vuitton store and the CBD.
Credit: Benh LIEU SONG

The Central Area of Singapore surrounded by the perimeter of five planning areas: the Marina Bay, the Downtown Core, Marina East, Marina South and Straits View. The area surrounding the bay itself, also called Marina Bay, is a 360 hectare extension to the adjacent CBD. It is also the new downtown of Singapore built on reclaimed land.

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