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Over 1.2 billion people–more than one-fifth of the world’s population– live in South Asia. The people of the region speak hundreds of languages and practice.

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Presentation on theme: "Over 1.2 billion people–more than one-fifth of the world’s population– live in South Asia. The people of the region speak hundreds of languages and practice."— Presentation transcript:


2 Over 1.2 billion people–more than one-fifth of the world’s population– live in South Asia. The people of the region speak hundreds of languages and practice several major religions.

3 With 772 people per sq mile, South Asia’s population density is almost seven times the world average. At present rates, South Asia will nearly double its current population by the year 2050.

4 Maldives is the world’s most crowded country, with over 2,400 people per sq mile. Bangladesh, the second most populated country in South Asia, has difficulty feeding its population. Private and government programs have been set up to encourage women to have fewer children and become involved in business. The number of children per woman decreased from 4 to 2.8 in the 1990s.

5 Most of South Asia’s population is rural. Most people in the region live in agricultural areas, such as on the Ganges Plain or along the coasts. Desert and mountain areas are sparsely populated. However, in recent years, many South Asians have moved to cities, drawn by the hope of better jobs. The resulting overpopulation causes shortages in housing, health care, and educational facilities, as well as serious pollution.


7 South Asian cities are among the world’s most densely populated urban areas. Important cities in the region include Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta), Delhi, Dhaka, and Karachi. Mumbai, India’s main port on the Arabian Sea as well as its largest city, has a population of more than 15 million.

8 Section 2-1 History and Government Explain where South Asia’s first civilization developed. Name the two major world religions that originated in South Asia. Examine how invasions and conquests shaped South Asia. Discuss what types of challnges South Asian countries face today. Objectives

9 Indian Civilization began in the Indus valley around 2500 B.C. A thousand years later hunters and herders called Aryans came from the northwest to settle in the subcontinent. The light skinned Aryans drove darker skinned people called, Dravidians to the south

10 After the Aryans, other groups invaded South Asia through the Khyber Pass, establishing new empires and civilizations. First the Mauryan Empire, Mauryan leader Asoka would help spread Buddhism. Later the Gupta Empire would control South Asia Under the Gupta Hindu civilization, technology and the arts flourished.

11 By the 1100s, Muslim forces had conquered northern India. The Muslim-led Mughal (Mogul) Empire dominated the subcontinent for centuries, converting many South Asians to Islam. The Taj Mahal is an Indian Icon and the most famous piece of Mughal architecture. A symbol of love the white marble mausoleum, was constructed in the 1600’s for the emperors favorite wife.

12 In the 1500’s Europeans arrived in India looking for goods such as spices and cloth. The French, Dutch, and British set up trading costal trading colonies.

13 India would make the British East Indies Trading Company wealthy. In 1857 the British government would put down a revolt and established direct rule over India. The period of direct British control, called the Raj (the Hindi word for empire), lasted for nearly 90 years. The British restructured the school system, introduced the English language, built railroads, and developed a civil service.

14 The great India leader Mohandas Gandhi began an opposition movement based on nonviolent resistance. He worked to end the rigid social system and became known as Mahatma, or “Great Soul.”

15 Gandhi born in India in 1869 His father was a local politician Accepted to law school Went to S. Africa for 1 year law assignment Was thrown off a train car because of his skin color Stayed 21 years in Africa fighting for rights His non-violence led to many victories Was a hero when he returned to India in 1915 Through himself into the struggle of Indian Independence He believed most leaders could not relate to the masses Gandhi adopted the life of the poor. He lived in a small hut with few possessions. In this humble place he organized resistance to British Rule Set up strikes, sit-in’s, nonpayment of taxes, and boycotts. He was arrested and jailed by the British over and over. During one protest the British opened fire killing 400 Indians Gandhi pushed for noncooperation, bringing India to a standstill

16 Gandhi slowly gained more political power through the 20’s and 30’s. When WWII ended Great Britain offered full independence. Though Gandhi achieved that goal he could not heal Muslim-Hindu Tensions. The Muslim population broke away from the new country forming Pakistan. Riots broke out. In protest to the fighting Gandhi fasted and the fighting stopped. Angered by Gandhi’s tolerance for Muslims a Hindu nationalist shot and killed Gandhi.

17 “An eye for an eye and soon the whole world is blind.” “I seek the blunt edge of the Tyrant’s sword not by putting up against it a sharper-edged weapon, but by disappointing his expectation that I would be offering physical resistance. My method is conversion not coercion.”

18 Eventually Britain gave in and in 1947 India gained its independence. Once it became independent Muslims to the west and east sought to gain their independence from the mainly Hindu India, creating Pakistan. Those with a Muslim majority became Pakistan, which was separated into two sections–East Pakistan and West Pakistan–by about 1,000 miles of land belonging to India. In 1971, East Pakistan revolted against West Pakistan and became the new country of Bangladesh.

19 Since independence, India and Pakistan have fought over the disputed province of Kashmir. Today, both countries have nuclear weapons. Since the 1980s, Sri Lanka has been torn by fighting between the Sinhalese-led government and Tamil rebel forces. Sri Lanka has been on the brink of outright civil war since the 1980s.

20 India’s 1st Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru helped India adopt a constitution and become a democracy. India, often called the world’s largest democracy, is a federal parliamentary republic. For 40 years after independence, members of the Nehru family headed India’s government. Today India enjoys a relatively stable government. Pakistan is a parliamentary republic that has endured many years of military rule. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are parliamentary republics, where intense political or ethnic rivalries have made stable government difficult. Nepal and Bhutan are ruled by monarchies that are trying to modernize and still keep some power.


22 Cultures and Lifestyles Objectives Identify ways the region’s linguistic and religious diversity is reflected in the lives of South Asia’s peoples. Describe South Asia’s contributions to the arts. List ways South Asian counties are meeting challenges to improve the quality of life of the region’s people. Point out how distinctive celebrations reflect the rich cultural diversity of South Asia.

23 The people of South Asia speak 19 major languages and hundreds of local dialects. About half of all Indians speak Hindi. Urdu is the official language of Pakistan, and Bengali is the official language of Bangladesh.

24 Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism are the major religions of South Asia. In addition, some 20 million followers of Sikhism live in northwestern India. Christianity is concentrated in urban areas in southern and northeastern India. Religion affects diet, daily activities, and dress in South Asia. Many religious groups also have some influence on the political process.

25 Hinduism is the world’s oldest major religion. It is polytheistic and recognizes many gods. Hindus must recognize and carry out his or her dharma, or moral duty. Hindus believe in reincarnation until the soul achieves perfection. Karma - is the moral consequences of ones actions. Good deeds help a person achieve perfection; evil deeds tie one to the endless wheel of rebirth. Hindus worship many gods and goddesses, which are often seen as different forms of one eternal being.

26 Hinduism, which grew out of Aryan culture and religion. The caste system was an Aryan system of social classes; today it remains one of the cornerstones of Hinduism. Four basic castes: Brahmans-priests and scholars Kshatriyas-rulers and warriors Vaisyas-farmers and merchants Sudras-artisans and laborers Below this are the “untouchables” Other Hindu practices include Yoga, Arranged Marriage, and a Vegetarian diet.

27 The Cow is an important symbol for most Hindus.

28 Buddhism is based on the teaching of Siddhartha Gautama who was born near the border on India and Nepal during the 500s B.C. He left his family and riches to seek the true nature of human existence. Known as the Buddha, or Awakened One, Siddhartha urged people to achieve contentment by working diligently, thinking clearly, showing compassion, and avoiding attachment to material things.

29 Dance and musical performance have long traditions in India. Dance styles are based on the movements of ancient temple dancers. Mumbai is home to the world’s busiest and most productive film industry, Bollywood. South Asia’s sculpture and temple architecture express religious beliefs. Modern South Asian architecture blends traditional and Western styles.

30 South Asians celebrate a variety of traditional holidays based on some form of religion. The region’s different countries also commemorate national holidays.

31 Life expectancies in South Asia are generally lower than in most industrialized countries. The scarcity of clean water encourages the spread of diseases such as cholera and dysentery.

32 South Asian governments are working to raise literacy rates and extend educational opportunities to women and members of lower social classes.

33 Despite improved farming techniques and government efforts, many South Asians are too poor to buy high-quality protein foods. To obtain needed protein, some people eat soy-based tofu or beans. Religious dietary regulations keep Hindus from eating beef and Muslims from eating pork.


35 Most South Asians are subsistence farmers who grow only what they need for their families. Some South Asians use oxen, water buffalo, yaks, and elephants to pull plows and to haul water and other loads.

36 In the Himalayan highlands, farmers practice terrace farming on the steep slopes. Crops include fruit in Pakistan’s valleys and rice in Bangladesh and along most of South Asia’s rivers. Most of India’s farms are small, but huge tea, rubber, and coconut plantations established by Europeans are located in Sri Lanka. Jute, cotton, tea, rubber, coconuts, bananas, and rice, grown for export, are the major cash crops of South Asia. Other crops include wheat, millet, spices, peanuts, cashews, and sugarcane. During the 1960s, mechanized farming using new crop varieties sought to increase and diversify crop yields in developing countries. As a result, India’s wheat and rice production has increased.

37 Textile production is a major light industry in South Asia. Thirty-eight million Indians work in the textile industry, producing cotton, silk, and wool fabrics and garments. Mohandas Gandhi, the leader of India’s independence movement, chose the spinning wheel as the symbol of the strength India could draw from its cottage industries.

38 More and more South Asians, especially Indians and Pakistanis, work in service industries such as transportation, banking, and administration. The high-technology industry has grown rapidly in South Asia. India, for example, is the world’s second-largest exporter of software, earning $5 billion in software trade with the United States in the year 2000.



41 India is a federation of states held together under a strong central government. India has one of the world’s largest economies but the per capita incomes remain low. 2/3rds of Indian’s live and work on small farms Cotton textiles have long been a major product. Today high tech industries are booming, While India’s economy is modernizing, many Indians live and work in traditional ways. Modern India is a blend of the old and the new. Today most Indians still follow the custom of arranged marriages and eat a largely vegetarian diet. Indians enjoy sports, music, and movies.


43 Most of the people of Pakistan and Bangladesh practice Islam. Pakistanis belong to one of five major ethnic groups. Most of the people of Bangladesh are Bengali. Most of the people in Pakistan and Bangladesh are Muslim. However, Pakistan is stricter in imposing the Islamic law on its citizens. Pakistanis follow the custom of Purdah, the seclusion of women. Both countries have experienced long periods of military rule and political corruption. They have disputed territory with India. They are becoming more Democratic. In the 1990’s both countries had women prime ministers.


45 The landlocked countries of Nepal and Bhutan are both located in the Himalayas. The rugged landscape has isolated the countries throughout their histories. Both countries are poor much of the land is not suitable for cultivation. For much of their history they were split into small religious kingdoms. Hindu kings ruled Nepal while Buddhist priests controlled Bhutan. Today both countries are constitutional monarchies (kingdoms in which rulers powers are limited by constitutions).

46 The Bhote and Tibetan people of Bhutan and the various ethnic groups of Nepal are descended from Mongolians. The Sherpas (people of Tibetan ancestry) live high in the Himalayas and work as mountain guides. A majority of Nepalese are Hindus; however Buddhism has deep roots in Nepal. The founder of Buddhism of Siddhartha Gautama was born on the boarder of Nepal and India. Buddhism is the official religion of Bhutan.


48 In Sri Lanka, the Buddhist Sinhalese are the majority and form the government. The other group–Hindu Tamils–have been fighting for an independent state in northern Sri Lanka since the 1980s. The Maldives were settled by Hindus and Buddhists from Sri Lanka and India. Now they have totally converted to Islam. Six dynasties, or sultans, have rules the Maldives since its founding. Now it is a republic ruled by a president.

49 Sri Lanka has the highest per capita income in Southern Asia and Maldives is not far behind. Like most of South Asia, Sri Lanka’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, mainly rice farming. The economy of the Maldives is based on fishing and tourism.

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