Tag Archives: Asian Pacific History

Angkor

Angkor: The capital of the Khmer empire, in Kampuchia [sic], founded in c9AD. Most of the surviving ruins date from c!2. They were lost in jungle and rediscovered in the last century. The city of Angkor Thom was 2.8 km square and moated, with the fantastically sculptured temple of the Bayon at its center. Other temples such as Ta Prohm and Angkor Vat [sic] cluster in the neighbourhood.”

Excerpted from: Bray, Warwick, and David Trump. The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology. New York: Penguin, 1984.

Aryans

Aryans: The people of the Rigveda, who invaded Iran and India from the northwest in the later 2nd millenium BC, By one theory they were responsible for the downfall of Indus Civilization. Their language was an early form of Sanskrit, the most easterly of the Indo-European tongues, but the use of their name to describe other Indo-European speakers is to be strongly deprecated.”

Excerpted from: Bray, Warwick, and David Trump. The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology. New York: Penguin, 1984.

Cultural Literacy: Saladin

While it’s not very long, and therefore not very thorough, here nonetheless is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Saladin, a figure worthy of more than cursory study. Perhaps this document will serve to introduce him, and therefore start a discussion on why this worksheet doesn’t serve his legacy well, even as an introduction to it.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Independent Practice: Justinian I

Here’s an independent practice worksheet on the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I if you happen to teach world history, global studies, or whatever your district calls this subdomain of social studies.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Hinduism

“Hinduism: A system of religious beliefs and social customs, especially influential in India. As both a way of life and a rigorous system of religious law, Hinduism developed over period of about 50 centuries. Unlike most religions, it requires no one belief regarding the nature of God: it embraces polytheism, monotheism, and monism. More important are the beliefs concerning the nature of the Universe and the structure of society. The former is described by the key concepts of dharma, the eternal law underlying the whole of existence; karma, the law of action by which each cause has an effect in an endless chain reaching from one life to the next; and moksha, liberation from this chain of birth, death and rebirth. The latter is prescribed by by the ideals of varna, the division of mankind into four classes or types, the forerunner of caste; ashrama , the four stages of life; and personal dharma, according to which one’s religious duty is defined by birth and circumstance. There are an estimated 705 million Hindus in the world.

Hindu revivalism arose from Hindu encounters with western ideas in the 19th and 20th centuries. There are many thinkers and ideas associated with the process. Raja Ram Mohun Roy (1772-1833) was the forerunner of new Hinduism; he learned English, located Hindu ideas in the context of Western ones in order to promote Hindu self-understanding, and founded the reform movement the Brahmo Samaj (Society of God). Debendranath Tagore (1817-1905) was his successor as the leader of the society; he explicitly questioned the infallibility of the Vedas and called for an experimental spirituality based on the aphorisms of the Upanishads. The most famous figure was Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), who claimed that Vedanta was the Hindu exemplification of that oneness to which all religions aspired, and that the idea and practice of tolerance and universality were India’s gift to the world; he admired Western self-confidence and scientific success, and formed a model of mutual influence in which the West taught its material skills to India, which reciprocated with its spiritual teachings. Dayananda Saraswati (1824-83), founder of the Arya Samaj (Society of Aryans), tried to emphasize the global significance of Vedic teachings by discerning scientific and technological ideas in them.

The term ‘Hindu revivalism’ is used to describe an ideology of nationalism based on allegedly Hindu values that is professed by some groups (notably the BJP party) in contemporary Indian politics.”

Excerpted from: Wright, Edmund, Ed. The Oxford Desk Encyclopedia of World History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

The Weekly Text, May 31, 2019

Well, we’ve reached the end of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2019. I’d say May has passed quickly, but I suspect that for most classroom teachers like me, May is, to paraphrase T.S. Eliot, the cruelest month.

To ring out the month, here is a reading on the Hindu Epics the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, along with the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that attends it.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

 

8 Trigrams of the I-Ching

“Ch’ien * Tui * Li * Chen * Sun * K’an * Ken * Kun

The I-Ching or Zhouyi, or the Book of Changes is the oldest of the Chinese classics, going back to oral traditions and observations of mankind at least 4,000 years old. It is essentially a collection of six-line hexagrams which are arranged in a textual eightfold pattern, which come with a set of linked values, such as an image in nature, a compass direction and an associated animal. By the use of chance (the casting of coins, dice, yarrow stalks or whatever), the sequences can be changed so that different groups of six-line hexagrams are read together, which gives it the force of a horoscope, managing questions with a cryptic and ever-changing set of responses.

The eight trigrams each have an association with a form of male or female energy, a place, a direction of the compass and a characteristic animal. For instance, the Ch’ien trigram is associated with creative force, with Heaven, the northwest, and the horse; the Tui with joyous openness, lake, west, sheep; Li, with beauty and radiant awareness, fire, south, and pheasant; Chen, with action and movement, thunder, east and dragon; Sun, with following and penetration, with wind, the south-east, and the fowl; K’an, with danger and peril, water, north, and the pig; Ken, with stopping and resting still, with mountains, the north-east and the wolf/dog; Kun with receptive, earth, southwest and the cow.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.