12 -- Part 10: Cultural Exchange in Central and Southern Asia to
After the decline of Funan, maritime trade continued to grow.
Indian traders established small settlements on the coast.
Intermarriage and hybrid cultures were caused by contact with the local populations.
When Indian traders, migrants, and explorers entered mainland Southeast Asia, they encountered both long-settled peoples and migrants moving southward from the frontiers of China.
The north Vietnamese became independent of China in 939 and extended their power along the coast of Vietnam.
The Thais lived in southwest China and north Burma for a long time.
The Thai tribes formed a confederacy against Tang China in the eighth century.
The Burmese, a tribe farther west, migrated to the area of modern Burma in the eighth century.
They established a state, which they ruled from their capital, Pagan.
The heart of the region was the Khmer Empire of Cambodia, which was the most important mainland state.
The area was inhabited by the Khmers.
Their empire extended south to the sea and the northeast Malay Peninsula.
The impressive temple complex at Angkor Wat was dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu.
The indian caste system was not the model for social organization.
Many of the slaves were descended from mountain tribes that were defeated by the Khmers.
The Khmers reached the peak of their power in 1219 after a long series of wars with the Vietnamese.
There are depictions of royal processions, armies at war, trade, cooking, cockfighting, and other scenes of everyday life in the relief sculptures at the temples of Angkor.
The boats and fish show the importance of the sea to life in Southeast Asia.
The Strait of Malacca was held from the sixth century onwards by the waters around Sumatra and Borneo.
Both China and India passed.
This state, held together as much by al iances as by direct rule, was in many ways like the Gupta state of India, securing its prominence and binding its vassals and al ies through its splendor and the promise of wealth through trade.
The Srivijayan rulers drew on Indian traditions to justify their rule and organize their state, like the Korean and Japanese rulers did.
The Sanskrit writing system was used for government documents, and Indians were often employed as priests, sholders, and administrators.
The bar riers were raised by many different native languages in the region.
Indian mythology, as well as Indian architecture and sculpture, took hold.
Kings and their courts spread Indian culture to their subjects.
Srivijaya suffered a blow in 1025.
The Srivijayan king and capital were captured by the Chola state in south India.
Unable to hold their gains, the Indians retreated.
Other kingdoms flourished in Southeast Asia during the era of the Srivijayan kingdom.
The Buddhist temple complex was started under the patronage of the Javan rulers.
The ten tiers of Bud dhist cosmology are depicted in this stone monument.
The journey from ignorance to enlightenment was depicted in sculpted reliefs that pilgrims passed.
After 800, Buddhism became more dominant in Southeast Asia.
Theravada Buddhism became the dominant form in Southeast Asia, even though Mahayana Buddhism became important in Srivijaya and Vietnam.
Buddhist missionaries from India and Sri Lanka were involved in these developments.
Local converts made pilgrimages to India to worship and to observe Indian life for themselves.
The impact of the social, cultural, and political systems developed in India, China, and Rome was enormous.
Some of the mechanisms for cultural spread were the same in all three cases.
Strong states ruled outlying regions in the case of Rome and Han and Tang China.
India's largest empires, such as the Mauryan and Gupta, did not have the same bureaucratic reach.
Outlying areas were usually in the hands of local lords who were willing to recognize the overlordship of the stronger state.
India was politically divided most of the time.
The expansion of Indian culture into Southeast Asia did not come from conquest or political control, but from the extension of trading networks.
It was closer to the way Japan adopted features of Chinese culture through Korea.
In both cases, the cultural exchange was voluntary, as the Japanese or Southeast Asians sought to adopt more up-to-date technologies or were persuaded of the truth of religious ideas they learned from foreigners.
Over time, societies became less isolated.
There were many isolated societies in the east of modern India in the 1400s.