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By P Boomgaard

Water, in its many guises, has consistently performed a robust position in shaping Southeast Asian histories, cultures, societies, and economies. those essays characterize a vast diversity of techniques to the research of Southeast Asia with water because the relevant subject matter. because it used to be uncovered to the ocean, the sector used to be extra obtainable to outdoors political, fiscal and cultural impacts than many landlocked parts. quick access via sea routes additionally influenced alternate. even though, an analogous easy accessibility made Southeast Asia at risk of political keep an eye on by way of robust outsiders. the ocean is, additionally, a resource of meals, but additionally of many risks. even as, Southeast Asian societies and cultures are faced with and permeated via "water from heaven" within the type of rain, flash floods, irrigation water, water in rivers, brooks, and swaps, water-driven strength crops, and pumped or piped water, as well as water as a service of sewage and pollutants. ultimately, the amount offers with the position of water in class structures, ideals, myths, disorder, and therapeutic.

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Extra resources for A world of water: rain, rivers and seas in Southeast Asian histories

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This cleared the way for a surge in Chinese trade with Southeast Asia, as merchants from Fujian, Guangdong and Zhejiang (Chekiang) competed with the European companies for products such as pepper. 30 The 1700s have attracted considerable attention from historians of Asia, and interpretations reflect the preoccupations of the times. From a European perspective it all seemed fairly straightforward. There was an undoubted shift mid-century, with the Dutch East India Company and Indian shippers losing ground to English (or Scots) and, somewhat later, American, country-traders.

Andaya 1993:1-2; see also on cloves in Ptak 1999; L. Andaya 2000; Pearson 1996 and 2003. 15 34 Heather Sutherland T’ang (618-907) and Song (960-1126) dynasties China’s markets drew traders from the west, including the newly emerging Muslim world. From the first millenium CE onwards, ‘true entrepôts’ developed in Southeast Asia. These centres of transshipment and commerce were strategically located, offered safe warehousing, food and water as well as access to supplies of commodities accumulated from local, regional and long-distance trade.

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.

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