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8: South Asia

  • Page ID
    21101
    • 8.1: South Asia's Physical Landscape
      South Asia’s Himalaya Mountains are the highest in the world, soaring to over 8,800 meters (29,000 feet). Yet, these are also some of the world’s youngest mountains, reflecting a region that has experienced significant physical and cultural changes throughout its history. Here, we find one of the earliest and most widespread ancient civilizations, the hearth area for several of the world’s great religions, and a region whose population will soon be the largest on Earth.
    • 8.2: Patterns of Human Settlement in South Asia
      South Asia’s rich cultural landscape is a product of its varied physical environment and long history of human settlement. Modern humans first settled in this area 75,000 years ago, and early human ancestors likely settled in the region hundreds of thousands of years before that. The first major civilization in South Asia was in the Indus River valley beginning around 3300 BCE. This civilization relied on the monsoon rains to provide water to the Indus River.
    • 8.3: Cultural Groups in South Asia
      South Asia is a diverse region in terms of its ethnic landscape, culture, and religious beliefs. In the north, the Indo-European languages like Hindi dominate as a result of the Aryan invasion. Along the Himalayas, languages in the Sino-Tibetan family dominate. In the south, most groups speak a language in the Dravidian family, comprised of the indigenous languages of South Asia that were present before the arrival of the Aryans. These reflect broader differences in culture and ethnicity.
    • 8.4: South Asia's Population Dynamics
      South Asia is the most populous region on Earth, but why is it the most populous, and how do geographers study population? The simplest way to measure population is to count the number of people in an area. India, for example, has a population of over 1.3 billion, making it the second-most populous country after China. But do raw numbers of people tell the whole story of the human population in an area?
    • 8.5: Future Challenges and Opportunities in South Asia
      India’s male-skewed population pyramid is indicative of a larger issue of gender inequality in its society. Sexual violence in particular continues to be a significant issue. Although the percentage of women who have been raped in India is lower than in other countries, a majority of rape cases are never reported and even an incidence rate of 8 or 9 percent in a population of over 1 billion people means that tens of millions of women have been victimized.

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