Asia (/ˈeɪʒə/ (listen), also UK: /ˈeɪʃə/) is the largest continent in the world by both land area and population. It is part of Eurasia. It covers an area of more than 44 million square kilometers, about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8% of Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Its 4.7 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population, having more people than all other continents combined.
Asia shares the landmass of Afro-Eurasia with Europe and Africa. In general terms, it is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. A commonly accepted division places Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black seas, separating it from Europe.
China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1,800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions. (Full article...)
The Tang dynasty (/tɑːŋ/, [tʰǎŋ]; Chinese: 唐朝), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty.The Lǐ family (李) founded the dynasty, seizing power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire and inaugurating a period of progress and stability in the first half of the dynasty's rule. The dynasty was formally interrupted during 690–705 when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, proclaiming the Wu Zhou dynasty and becoming the only legitimate Chinese empress regnant. The devastating An Lushan Rebellion (755–763) shook the nation and led to the decline of central authority in the dynasty's latter half. Like the previous Sui dynasty, the Tang maintained a civil-service system by recruiting scholar-officials through standardized examinations and recommendations to office. The rise of regional military governors known as jiedushi during the 9th century undermined this civil order. The dynasty and central government went into decline by the latter half of the 9th century; agrarian rebellions resulted in mass population loss and displacement, widespread poverty, and further government dysfunction that ultimately ended the dynasty in 907. (Full article...)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE; Arabic: اَلْإِمَارَات الْعَرَبِيَة الْمُتَحِدَة al-ʾImārāt al-ʿArabīyah al-Muttaḥidah), or simply the Emirates (Arabic: الِْإمَارَات al-ʾImārāt), is a country in Western Asia (The Middle East). It is located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula and shares borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia, while having maritime borders in the Persian Gulf with Qatar and Iran. Abu Dhabi is the nation's capital, while Dubai, the most populated city, is an international hub.The United Arab Emirates is an elective monarchy formed from a federation of seven emirates, consisting of Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Each emirate is governed by an emir and together the emirs form the Federal Supreme Council. The members of the Federal Supreme Council elect a president (as of 14th May 2022, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan) and vice president (His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum) from among their members. In practice, the emir of Abu Dhabi serves as president while the ruler of Dubai is vice president and also prime minister. In 2013, the country had a population of 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million were Emirati citizens and 7.8 million were expatriates. , the United Arab Emirates has an estimated population of roughly 9.9 million. (Full article...)
Rani Mukerji (pronounced [raːni mʊkʰərdʒi]; born 21 March 1978) is an Indian actress who works in Hindi films. Noted for her versatility, she is the recipient of multiple accolades, including seven Filmfare Awards. Mukerji has featured in listings of the highest-paid actresses of the 2000s.Although Mukerji was born into the Mukherjee-Samarth family, in which her parents and relatives were members of the Indian film industry, she did not aspire to pursue a career in film. As a teenager she dabbled with acting by starring in her father Ram Mukherjee's Bengali-language film Biyer Phool and in the social drama Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat (both 1996). Mukerji had her first commercial success with the action film Ghulam (1998) and breakthrough with the romance Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). Following a brief setback, the year 2002 marked a turning point for her when she was cast by Yash Raj Films as the star of the drama Saathiya. (Full article...)
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The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, his reign officially began 11 October 1735, lasting for 60 years. Named Hongli, he chose the era name Qianlong, meaning "heavenly prosperity". Although his early years saw the continuation of an era of prosperity and great military success in China, his final years saw troubles at home and abroad converge on the Qing Empire. Qianlong abdicated the throne at the age of 85, to his son, the Jiaqing Emperor, fulfilling his promise not to reign longer than his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor.
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Updated: 1:33, 20 March 2022
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Credit: Benh Lieu Song
Panorama of the city of Luang Prabang in northern Laos, as seen from Phu Si hill. The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name, and after Laos's independence from France, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. This view features the Nam Khan river on the left, and Luang Prabang International Airport on the very far left.
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