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Cultural , Political, and Religious Interactions in Ancient Asia Essay

Since Asian countries came in contact with each other, Cultural, Political, and Religious interactions between them, began. The Ancient Asian countries’ interactions with each other play a big role in affecting how the Asian countries are today.

Political contacts and interaction were most often made because a country wanted to become allies to gain military security, or to join their forces to fight a mutual enemy that they couldn’t fight alone; but sometimes situations didn’t go the way they were planned. One example is Zhang Qian’s mission as an envoy. He was sent as an envoy from Wu Di, the Han emperor, to make contact and alliance with the nomadic tribes just west of them. The western tribes and the Han Empire had a mutual enemy, the Xiongnu, who roamed the lands just north of the Great Wall. Zhang Qian started off to the west, but when he came back to the Han Empire he was with a Xiongnu wife. His report was that he was captured by the Xiongnu and this woman helped him escape. He traveled to the western tribes to make an alliance but they refused.

Missionaries usually made religious contacts. The missionaries’ main goal was to spread their religion so more people convert. Examples of religious contact by missionaries are buddhist missionaries. They traveled all throughout Southeast Asia, settled there for a while, and successfully converted a lot of people into Buddhism.

The Asian countries’ cultures influenced each other. They influenced each other’s culture through trade. Foreign artifacts, ideas and craft skills were adapted into the local culture if they seemed useful. Indian influence spread all throughout Southeast Asia, largely because of Brahmins who had royal courts across Southeast Asia. They brought new government ideas, artistic ideas, and a written language called Sanskrit. The main Chinese cultural influence, aside from religion, was language and laws. They spread the Chinese language and laws along mainland Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam, when they tried to take it over. However, even though the Asian countries’ cultures influenced each other, they each had a strong local culture to begin with.


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