By P Boomgaard
Water, in its many guises, has constantly performed a strong function in shaping Southeast Asian histories, cultures, societies, and economies. those essays symbolize a huge variety of ways to the research of Southeast Asia with water because the important topic. because it used to be uncovered to the ocean, the sector used to be extra available to outdoor political, financial and cultural impacts than many landlocked components. easy accessibility via sea routes additionally influenced exchange. even though, a similar quick access made Southeast Asia liable to political keep watch over 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 through "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 provider of sewage and pollutants. eventually, the quantity bargains with the function of water in class structures, ideals, myths, disorder, and therapeutic.
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Additional info for A world of water: rain, rivers and seas in Southeast Asian histories
S. Arasaratnam (1987:113) concludes that while Southeast Asia’s commerce with Gujerat may not have grown in the seventeenth century, it did not decline. Coromandel’s age-old commerce with Southeast Asia, notably Malacca, the Burmese and Thai coasts, as well as Malayan ports (Kedah, Perak, Johor), Aceh, Jambi and Banten, remained so profitable that east Indian merchants persisted in visiting there despite tariffs and fees imposed in Dutch controlled ports. Coromandel trade with the independent states of mainland Southeast Asia flourished.
Over thousands of years, Asian waters have been much traveled, and it has often been suggested that the central dynamic of Southeast Asian history is to be found in the interaction between peoples, primarily through trade: down the rivers, along the coasts, across the seas and oceans. If this focus was once restricted to ‘island Southeast Asia’ (Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines), more recent research, as we will see below, acknowledges the crucial significance of trade on ‘the mainland’ (Myanmar or Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam).
Hall (1999:131) describes how the Fun-Nan traders ‘went to China in order to exchange Mediterranean, Indian, Middle Eastern and African goods... for China’s silk. ] sailors from the Sunda Strait area responded with entrepreneurial skill, and began to introduce their own products’, substituting archipelago forest produce for frankincense and myrrh. By the fifth and sixth centuries south China and the Sunda State region were trading strongly, creating 18 19 Christie 1995:252-3; Chaudhuri 1985:34-62; Risso 1995; Christie 1990:42.