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Early Interactions Between South and Southeast Asia

Early Interactions Between South and Southeast Asia
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Subtitle: Reflections on Cross-Cultural Exchange
Author/Editor: Pierre-Yves Manguin,Geoff Wade,A. Mani
New Pb 513 pp.
Subject: Southeast Asia,South Asia,History & Biography
Condition: Good
Published: 2011

The unilateral concept of “Indianisation of Southeast Asia” advocated by the earlier scholars since the 1930s has been challenged in various ways over the last forty years.

Recent archaeological discoveries in Southeast Asia and South Asia have revealed the  interactions between these two regions extending to even before the so-called Indianisation of Southeast Asia began.

This volume, a product of an international conference on the interactions of these two regions, provides us with a good picture of the present state of studies through an elaborate Introduction which assesses the past and present research and twenty-three specialized papers divided into two broad section – the archaeological evidence for interactions and localization in Southeast Asia.

This book is a great contribution not only to the study of early Southeast Asian history, but also to the history of Asia and the world in general by reappraising the concept of “Indianisation”. – Noboru Karashima, Professor Emeritus, Tokyo University
The study of intellectual exchange between South and Southeast Asian has almost dormant for the past 50 years. In the 1960s, the concept of “Indianisation” which had long dominated the historiography of Southeast Asia was intellectually exhausted and scholars no longer found the assumptions underlying it credible.

The pendulum swung in the direction of “local genius” as a framework within which to reconstruct the evolution of Southeast Asian civilisation. As the idea of Indianisation waned in tandem with colonialism, so in 2011 the postcolonial focus on nationalistic narratives is in decline. The pendulum is swinging back to a midpoint between extremes.

The essays in this volume summarise a wealth of newly-acquired archaeological data which enables scholars to formulate clearer insights into centuries of interaction between the two regions. The new studies emphasise the localisation of South Asian cultural elements in Southeast Asia, what one might term the “ Southeast Asianisation” of artistic, architectural, linguistic, and religious attributes as they crossed the Bay of Bengal and reached Southeast Asian shores.

This new perspective should enable the South Southeast Asia nexus to take its proper place among the major examples of intensive long-term cultural exchange in world history. – John N. Miksic, Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

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