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View Poll Results: What do you consider to be part of the EASTERN world?
Middle East 4 44.44%
Israel 1 11.11%
India 7 77.78%
Southeast Asia 9 100.00%
China 9 100.00%
Japan 9 100.00%
North Korea 9 100.00%
South Korea 9 100.00%
Philippines 6 66.67%
Indonesia 7 77.78%
Australasia 0 0%
Melanesia 2 22.22%
Polynesia 2 22.22%
Micronesia 2 22.22%
North Africa 2 22.22%
Subsaharan Africa 0 0%
South Africa 0 0%
Macao 7 77.78%
Central Asia 4 44.44%
Georgia 2 22.22%
Armenia 2 22.22%
Western Europe 0 0%
Eastern Europe 1 11.11%
Hong Kong 8 88.89%
Singapore 9 100.00%
Taiwan 9 100.00%
ISlamic indo-arian states (Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan) 6 66.67%
Countries in the range of Himalaya (Nepal, Bhuthan) 6 66.67%
The Guyanas 0 0%
Latin America 0 0%
Turkey 2 22.22%
Greece 0 0%
Russia, entirely 2 22.22%
Russia, only the Asian part 3 33.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-06-2019, 10:15 AM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
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It's very common to people in this forum to discuss the "westerness" of this or that country or people, but, as we suppose this forum to be about the entire world, if we have a West, then we should have an East. Then, the question: what should be the Eastern world, and what distinguishes it from the rest of the world?
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:53 AM
tij
 
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I included the Islamic, the Indic, and the Sinic cultural spheres, rooted in philosophies with an independent literary tradition... so MENA (I was hesitant to include israel as its political élite were predominantly rooted in European cultures) + South Asia + Southeast Asia + East Asia (including Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and all industrialized countries). These cultures have non-European derived high cultures based on Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism, and unlike most of Sub-Saharan Africa*, Latin America, the Phillipines, and Oceania, these cultures survived.

The Horn and the Sahel could be considered eastern as well...
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:24 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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To me, China is the quintessential Eastern country.

It is the definition of the Orient.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:13 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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What's interesting, is that people in some east European countries consider themselves to be part of the "Orient", or the East. At this point, it could be a generational thing; now that Romania and Bulgaria have joined the EU, for better or for worse, younger generations could well feel differently about it. But it makes sense to me that they're part of eastern Indo-European culture, similar to Iran and Afghanistan. Although I think the locals categorized it as "east", back in the day, due to being Soviet satellites. That, now, is an obsolete designation.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:50 PM
tij
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
What's interesting, is that people in some east European countries consider themselves to be part of the "Orient", or the East. At this point, it could be a generational thing; now that Romania and Bulgaria have joined the EU, for better or for worse, younger generations could well feel differently about it. But it makes sense to me that they're part of eastern Indo-European culture, similar to Iran and Afghanistan. Although I think the locals categorized it as "east", back in the day, due to being Soviet satellites. That, now, is an obsolete designation.
I'm not quite sure what "eastern Indo-European culture" refers to here. There are definitely linguistic similarities between, say, Polish/Russian and Persian/Hindi, but those languages diverged long ago, and Polish culture is going to me much more similar to German and even Portuguese culture that it will be to Nepalese or Bangladeshi cultures. Eastern Europe is overall closer to Western Europe than it is to china/india/arabia etc. Also, Hungary shares in the cultural history or east-central Europe without speaking an indoeuropean language and most of the East (Arabia, China, Japan, SE Asia) does not either. Agree on the political/cold war difference, although Marxism is derived from the political, economic, and social traditions of the Occident foremost (Hegel, Smith, Rousseau, Fourier)...
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
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The problem with using the term "the east" is that it has multiple definitions dating to other time periods. It can referrer to eastern Christianity, it can refer to the Islamic world, it can refer to the Indian sub continent, and lastly it can refer to the far east. But at it's core I think eastern cultures put a strong emphases on mysticism. And although mysticism exists in the west too, it's not as strong and has pretty much died out. The west has instead focused more on rationalism and gave birth to modern science. Rationalism also exists in eastern countries, but I don't think it was the central core.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:34 PM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grega94 View Post
The problem with using the term "the east" is that it has multiple definitions dating to other time periods. It can referrer to eastern Christianity, it can refer to the Islamic world, it can refer to the Indian sub continent, and lastly it can refer to the far east. But at it's core I think eastern cultures put a strong emphases on mysticism. And although mysticism exists in the west too, it's not as strong and has pretty much died out. The west has instead focused more on rationalism and gave birth to modern science. Rationalism also exists in eastern countries, but I don't think it was the central core.
It's somewhat radical to say that the mysticism is "died out" in the West. I would say that it's different, much more related to the personal experience than to a public aspect like in the East. Moreover, mysticism and rationalism are not incompatible things if we consider that the mystics try to answer to the question: "what is the reason of the existence of the world?" and modern science try to answer "how does the world work?".

Like I said in other topic, I don't think it's very useful to divide the world in west, east, north, south for purposes like development, economy, short-term cultural features and so on, since there are many shades between one and another, and the geopolitics and culture can perform strong changes in a relatively short timespan. The dynamics of the world in 1919 was very distinct of today. In the other topic about what is "the West", some people said that Japan is a western country while Greece is not - what both in geographical and historical terms sound a complete nonsense. And this is the point where I think the West-East division is useful: long-term history.

The East, in my point of view, include all countries with more than one thousand years of history of advanced culture with little or no influence at all from the european culture in its core - I'm talking about language, religion, ethics, etc; not about mass media and not about short-term cultural features. The eastern countries also share an interesting feature, which is the rigid moral and social code in the society. And on the contrary of the West, economic development is not relevant for including or not a country in the East: we'll find extremely rich countries like Japan and the Emirates, average countries like Thailand and Indonesia, poor countries like Iraq and Laos, and unevenly rich countries like China.
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:52 PM
tij
 
129 posts, read 16,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabio SBA View Post
It's somewhat radical to say that the mysticism is "died out" in the West. I would say that it's different, much more related to the personal experience than to a public aspect like in the East. Moreover, mysticism and rationalism are not incompatible things if we consider that the mystics try to answer to the question: "what is the reason of the existence of the world?" and modern science try to answer "how does the world work?".

Like I said in other topic, I don't think it's very useful to divide the world in west, east, north, south for purposes like development, economy, short-term cultural features and so on, since there are many shades between one and another, and the geopolitics and culture can perform strong changes in a relatively short timespan. The dynamics of the world in 1919 was very distinct of today. In the other topic about what is "the West", some people said that Japan is a western country while Greece is not - what both in geographical and historical terms sound a complete nonsense. And this is the point where I think the West-East division is useful: long-term history.

The East, in my point of view, include all countries with more than one thousand years of history of advanced culture with little or no influence at all from the european culture in its core - I'm talking about language, religion, ethics, etc; not about mass media and not about short-term cultural features. The eastern countries also share an interesting feature, which is the rigid moral and social code in the society. And on the contrary of the West, economic development is not relevant for including or not a country in the East: we'll find extremely rich countries like Japan and the Emirates, average countries like Thailand and Indonesia, poor countries like Iraq and Laos, and unevenly rich countries like China.
These are quite apt thoughts on the topic! Just curious: do you consider North Africa to be "eastern?" If you are including the Emirates and Iraq in your definition, I don't see why Algeria or Egypt* aren't 'eastern' as well, having cultures largely derived from non-western traditions and sharing profound commonalities with the Middle East. In large part, scholars like Ibn Khaldun emerged who impacted the same philosophical traditions as the eastern Arab World. For instance, Morocco's culture, along with its native Berber civilization, largely stems from its Arabic-Islamic identity and its legacy of an advanced culture that long predates European colonization, regardless of its position to the west of most of the European continent.


*Egypt is sometimes not included in N Africa, which at times only refers to the Maghreb...
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:37 PM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
1,523 posts, read 1,712,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tij View Post
These are quite apt thoughts on the topic! Just curious: do you consider North Africa to be "eastern?" If you are including the Emirates and Iraq in your definition, I don't see why Algeria or Egypt* aren't 'eastern' as well, having cultures largely derived from non-western traditions and sharing profound commonalities with the Middle East. In large part, scholars like Ibn Khaldun emerged who impacted the same philosophical traditions as the eastern Arab World. For instance, Morocco's culture, along with its native Berber civilization, largely stems from its Arabic-Islamic identity and its legacy of an advanced culture that long predates European colonization, regardless of its position to the west of most of the European continent.


*Egypt is sometimes not included in N Africa, which at times only refers to the Maghreb...
If Australia and New Zealand are considered part of the West - while geographically they are in the far eastern hemisphere, then yes, Northern Africa is undeniable part of the East.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:08 PM
 
14,307 posts, read 13,055,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
What's interesting, is that people in some east European countries consider themselves to be part of the "Orient", or the East.

"Orient?" Eastern Europeans?

Never heard of it.

Quote:

At this point, it could be a generational thing; now that Romania and Bulgaria have joined the EU, for better or for worse, younger generations could well feel differently about it. But it makes sense to me that they're part of eastern Indo-European culture, similar to Iran and Afghanistan.
In what sense are they similar?



Quote:
Although I think the locals categorized it as "east", back in the day, due to being Soviet satellites. That, now, is an obsolete designation.
I suspect that the true meaning of the East ( when we speak of Europe) predates Soviet Union; it goes back all the way to schism between the WESTERN and EASTERN ROMAN EMPIRES.

GREECE is a culprit here ( no wonder so many are pointing at Greece as "something different" comparably to the rest of the "Western European" countries.)
It was GREEK culture at the heart of the Eastern Roman Empire, ( while Western Roman Empire gave the basis to what we know now as "Western Europe" I suppose.)
Russia is the direct descendant of the "EASTERN ORTHODOXY" a.k.a Byzantium ( there we go, they don't call it "Eastern" for nothing,) and from what I remember, the rest of Eastern Europeans went under the Eastern Orthodox Church as well.

Western Roman Church was happy to acquire the "westernmost" Slavic Nations as part of its domain, but soon enough their association with Russia ( the ultimate state of EASTERN Orthodoxy,) made them "Eastern" as well.

Last edited by erasure; 02-06-2019 at 09:20 PM..
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