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View Poll Results: Do India and the Middle East Deserve Separate Continental Statuses from Asia?
Yes, both regions deserve the statuses. 16 48.48%
Only India deserves the status. 7 21.21%
Only the Middle East serves the status. 1 3.03%
Neither regions deserve the status. 7 21.21%
It is hard to tell. 2 6.06%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 21st, 2015, 03:11 AM   #1

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A Separate Continental Status for India and the Middle East


When look at the seven continental divisions today, we could notice how large the Asian continent looks compared to others. This means that a variety of cultures and continental barriers exist, as how continents are defined.

For India (the region, not the state), it holds the status as a subcontinent, but it is still a de jure part of Asia. India, for several millennia, has held a distinct culture separate from rest of Asia. It also has the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, and the Central Makran Range as physical barriers that enabled them to develop their own unique civilization. They even have a separate tectonic plate.The naming dispute may also arise due to other states existing in the region, but a more compromising name could always be made.

The same thing also applies to the Middle East. Their culture is also distinct from rest of Asia. The Caucasus Mountains, the Kopetdag Mountains, the Central Makran Range could be used as barriers. The debate concerning the many existing ethnic groups and extension will be present, but that's why this thread is created.

Do you think both of these regions deserve separate continental statuses?
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Old July 21st, 2015, 05:27 AM   #2

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Europe is a continent. So, yeah, sure.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 06:28 AM   #3
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Yes. The European subcontinent is a continent, why not?

Divisions should be roughly E. Asia (Sinosphere), India (South Asia), Europe, Central Asia all the way to the Northern boundaries , South-East Asia, Near East/Middle-East.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 06:43 AM   #4

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But wouldn't it be just as fair and easier to lump Siberia in with Europe?
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 04:49 PM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moloc View Post
Yes. The European subcontinent is a continent, why not?

Divisions should be roughly E. Asia (Sinosphere), India (South Asia), Europe, Central Asia all the way to the Northern boundaries , South-East Asia, Near East/Middle-East.
I once thought about your division pattern, but I thought there would be too many then. Southeast Asia could be separated, but their Sinic influences and geographic location would be okay for them to be conjoined with East Asia. For Central Asia, their similar culture with the Middle East. I think following the general similarities of cultures is fine enough for continental divisions. We don't have to subdivide Western, Central, and Eastern Europes just because of their slight cultural differences, do we?

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But wouldn't it be just as fair and easier to lump Siberia in with Europe?
Culturally, the whole Russia might be European, but you cannot ignore some of the Central Asian and indigenous Siberian influences in the regions. Do we have to make East Thrace Asian and Sinai African just because of their nationalities' continental status? That sounds geographically incorrect to me...
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 05:06 PM   #6

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One thing that people should brought up - Continents are geographical entities and defined as such, not cultural. Culture as almost nothing to do with the definition of Continents.

And another thing, "Asia" by its original definition was the Middle East and India. The ancient Greeks - the ones that invented the term - only referred the Middle East, parts of Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent as part of Asia. The Far-east and Southeast Asia were only included in the Asian continent in early modern era.

By saying that, if we want to attribute new continental status for some parts of Asia, than we should attributed it to the Far-east and Southeast Asia, not India and the Middle East. It should be the other way around.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 05:23 PM   #7

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Originally Posted by robto View Post
One thing that people should brought up - Continents are geographical entities and defined as such, not cultural. Culture as almost nothing to do with the definition of Continents.
Why not cultural? A lot of dictionaries define continents as continuous landmasses. By this geographic definition, Europe, Asia, and Africa should be a single continent since their they are all connected by land. For me, the fact that Europe has a separate continental status makes the definition of continent affiliated with culture.

Quote:
And another thing, "Asia" by its original definition was the Middle East and India. The ancient Greeks - the ones that invented the term - only referred the Middle East, parts of Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent as part of Asia. The Far-east and Southeast Asia were only included in the Asian continent in early modern era.
True that, but wouldn't that also apply to Africa? Africa was originally refereed to roughly modern-day Tunisia by the Romans in the past. It is also just that the term Africa expanded southwards as time passed.

Quote:
By saying that, if we want to attribute new continental status for some parts of Asia, than we should attributed it to the Far-east and Southeast Asia, not India and the Middle East. It should be the other way around.
You do have the good point on saying that it should be the reversal. After all, the regions you mentioned were first called Asia. Historically speaking, I find it weird we call Far Eastern people "Asians..." Just what modern popular culture creates...
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 06:55 PM   #8

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Nobody's interested in changing continent names because location within continents is irrelevant to academic research. Continents are merely large geographic terms. Somewhat arbitrary sure, which is why we also have terms like Eurasia. Either way, its not like creating a new continent name will have any impact on academia. It probably wouldn't work precisely because the continent names are so irrelevant. Most people will just keep using the old continent names - its not like there's any improvement to academic discourse if we decided to start calling Central Asia as Middle Earth after all.
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Old July 27th, 2015, 07:12 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tornada View Post
Nobody's interested in changing continent names because location within continents is irrelevant to academic research. Continents are merely large geographic terms. Somewhat arbitrary sure, which is why we also have terms like Eurasia. Either way, its not like creating a new continent name will have any impact on academia. It probably wouldn't work precisely because the continent names are so irrelevant. Most people will just keep using the old continent names - its not like there's any improvement to academic discourse if we decided to start calling Central Asia as Middle Earth after all.
You have a good point on the it's small affect, but it could still change how people view cultures. Common people view European culture very distinctively to the rest of Asian cultures than people view the Middle Eastern, Indian, and Far Eastern cultures. Further subidivisions will hopefully decrease the overgeneralization of the diversity of Asian cultures present.
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Old July 29th, 2015, 08:06 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kormp View Post
Do you think both of these regions deserve separate continental statuses?
Honestly, this question appears to be above my pay grade.

Also, though, maybe we shouldn't have made Europe a separate continent in the first place.
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