29 August 2016
We live in a Southeast Asia that is perhaps better connected now than ever before. Or so one would think – if one were unaware of how inter-connected all of Asia once was before the advent of colonial rule, and before the creation of the colonies that would gain their independence as the nation-states we recognise today.
Southeast Asians today are caught up in the web of identity politics, as we appropriate elements of history, language and material culture as ours. Sometimes exclusively so.
Yet it pays to remind ourselves that many of the things that we regard as “ours”, in the nationalistic sense, emerged and developed in a pre-modern Southeast Asian region – one where communities were more mobile than we realise, and where movement, migration, settlement and commerce linked the respective nations together.
How did the idea of Southeast Asia come about? That’s what we set out to explore in Inventing Southeast Asia, a three-part series that premieres on Aug 30.
… Dr Farish A. Noor is a political scientist and historian, and an Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. He hosts Inventing Southeast Asia, a three-part series by Channel NewsAsia that premieres Tuesday, Aug 30, at 8pm (SG/HK).
GPO / Online
Last updated on 29/08/2016