Education About Asia: Online Archives

Web Gleanings: Southeast Asia in the Humanities and Social Science Curricula

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Map of Southeast Asia


This map gives the reader an idea of the complicated geography of Southeast Asian countries. Each country is shown with a different color, making it easy to identify them.

Ancient Lights: The Geography and Cultures of Southeast Asia (video)

Volume 1, URL:

Volume 2, URL:

These videos, from Ancient Lights: The Geography and Cultures of Southeast Asia by Discovery Education (2011), give an overview
of Southeast Asia. The population, the religions, the products, and the history of European discoveries of the region are depicted.


The Places in Between


Although this lengthy article is in the “Books” section of The New Yorker, there is more to it than simply a review of a book. The piece touches on the history of Indonesia in the late twentieth century, and looks at the diversity of cultures and the coexistence of the old and the contemporary in Indonesia.

1820–1950 Indonesia and Decolonization


Produced by the Rijksmuseum (Netherlands), this site provides information about the connection between the Netherlands and Indonesia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some of the artifacts from the museum serve to illustrate historical events.

Bahasa Indonesia: The Indonesian Language


This is an in-depth look at the Indonesian language. The author discusses its historical antecedents, its relationship to other languages of the past in Indonesia, and the similarities and differences between Indonesian and the languages of nearby countries. There is also some discussion of how the language functions today and of the dialects and where they are used. A description of the language is provided, including a summary of the writing and spelling systems.

Indonesia: A Country Study


This is an updated version of the book written in 1993 by William H. Frederick and Robert L. Worden. The PDF file is 500 pages long and covers topics from Indonesia’s early history to its economy to politics to the criminal justice system.

Indonesia History and Java Culture (video)

Rather than moving images, this video is a series of photos with a narration by Professor Walter L. Williams. Williams focuses on Java, the largest of the islands of Indonesia, and speaks of the variety of influences on the culture. He looks at the foreign influences and then the independence movements, focusing on Sukarno and Suharto as the prime movers of change in Indonesia.


Temples of Angkor


Part of the Google Maps “Trek” series, the Angkor region’s temples are available for a virtual tour. There are videos and many street views using the Google Maps technology to explore the temples in detail.

Cambodia Profile


Perhaps the most valuable portion of this BBC site is the detailed timeline, which can be accessed via a link at the top of each page. The timeline focuses on the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Power and Political Culture in Cambodia


From the National University of Singapore Asian Research Institute’s Working Paper Series (no. 200), this paper by Trude Jacobsen and Martin Stuart-Fox on the nature of power and concomitantly on the politics of Cambodia derives much of its information from interviews with almost 100 Cambodians. These informants range from blue-collar workers to civil servants, varying in age from fifteen to seventy-seven. Their beliefs and values, and the relationship between power and gender, are investigated.


A Country Study: Laos


This study from the Library of Congress covers every aspect of the Laotian society. It includes history, economy, foreign policy, views of the environment, and other major topics.

Laos Video Guide


A view of Laos begins in the capital, Vientiane, with scenes of some of the Buddhist temples, including Pha That Luang. It continues to the North, where there are small villages in the mountains and places that few tourists have visited. Life along the Mekong, the largest river in Southeast Asia, is seen from small boats.

Laos: The World Factbook


Grouped under headings such as “Transportation”, “Geography,” and “Government”, the CIA has compiled a listing of the important facts about Laos. This version was published in 2013.




UNICEF has issued this long list of statistics pertaining to vital information about Malaysia. Each section has a list of definitions, which is important for recognizing whether the numbers are percentages, absolute numbers, or probabilities.

Literacy Among The Secondary Students in Malaysia


This study from Fong Peng Chew, which appeared in the International Journal of Social Science and Humanity (vol. 2, no. 6, 2012), examines the literacy rates of 5,000 secondary school students of differing ethnicities: Malay, Chinese, and Indian. Along with the findings, the report suggests the necessary actions to improve literacy levels.



The Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth) is an organization composed of fifty-three states; Malaysia is one of them. In this report, the Commonwealth provides information on the society, economy, politics, history, and travel in Malaysia. Links to these topics can be found on the right side of the page.




This is the summary page about Myanmar for The New York Times. In the left column is a summary of Myanmar today, as well as previous news coverage and general facts about the country. In the center column is a multimedia section with several video files.

Myanmar Profile


The BBC provides this look at Myanmar, beginning with an overview and ending with an extensive timeline, starting in the eleventh century and continuing until the present. One navigates through the site via the tabs near the top of the page.

Myanmar 2013 (video in 3 parts)

Part 1, URL:

Part 2, URL:

Part 3, URL:

These videos by YouTube user “edstaats” show a variety of images as the photographer travels through Myanmar. There is sound in addition to the sights but no narration. One sees people at work, villages, temples, and the countryside.


Philippine History


This website contains a history of the Philippines with many links near the top of the page to historical events, including the Spanish expeditions and the occupation by Japan. On the left side of each page are links to other topics such as a list (with photos) of every president of the country and their vice presidents, a timeline of Philippine history, and some black and white photos of Old Manila.

National Museum of the Philippines


The major focus of this site can be found under the “Collections” tab located near the top of the home page. After clicking on one of the choices, for example “Fine Art,” a list of links to representative pieces from this collection appears on the left. Each link leads to a photo and description of the specific object.

Country Profile: Philippines


This twenty-six-page document produced by the Library of Congress in 2006 begins with a brief history of the country and goes on to cover the society, economy, political system, and foreign relations.


The Singapore Model


The American Enterprise Institute has published this detailed look at the health care system in Singapore. In addition to describing aspects of the programs and medical treatments available, the article also contrasts the Singapore system with that of the United States.

Singapore—Crossroads of the East 1938 (video)


In 1938, Singapore was a British colony; its population was half a million people. This black and white video from André de la Varre, lasting about ten minutes, depicts life in Singapore in that year. One gets glimpses of the architecture, streets and traffic, work in the harbor, recreation facilities, and other aspects of daily life in Singapore.

Singapore Economic Development Board


For those interested in the industries of Singapore, this Singapore government site offers a great deal of information. The link to “Industries” provides a drop-down menu with a list of the major industries and some emerging businesses.


Diplomatic History of Thailand


Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has produced this site in English. At the bottom of the home page are links to discrete periods of time in reverse chronological order, where the relations to other countries are discussed. The navigation is somewhat clumsy in that one needs to click on the Back button at the bottom of each page in order to return to the menu.

Thailand’s Economy


The Economist takes a look at recent events, the impact on the economy of Thailand, and the possible course it will follow. Since Thailand has the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, its economic activities affect the entire region.


Culture and Society


This review of Vietnamese society has been prepared by the Embassy of Việt Nam to the United States. Some of the subtopics are: Family Life, Costumes, Festivals, Literature, and Arts.

Ultimate Journeys Việt Nam (video)


The video, produced by the Discovery Channel, begins in the capital, Hanoi, showing the ancient and the contemporary in this bustling city. There is a segment on rice farming, which notes that 70 percent of the population is involved in the production of rice. Other sections include martial arts, textile design, and food and nightlife in Saigon.