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Asia (/ˈʒə, ˈʃə/ (listen)) is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe, and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with Africa and Europe. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the 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 constitutes roughly 60% of the world's population.

In general terms, Asia 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 1800 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...)

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The Torajans are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Their population is approximately 1,100,000, of whom 450,000 live in the regency of Tana Toraja ("Land of Toraja"). Most of the population is Christian, and others are Muslim or have local animist beliefs known as aluk ("the way"). The Indonesian government has recognised this animistic belief as Aluk To Dolo ("Way of the Ancestors").

The word Toraja comes from the Buginese language term to riaja, meaning "people of the uplands". The Dutch colonial government named the people Toraja in 1909. Torajans are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked-roof traditional houses known as tongkonan, and colourful wood carvings. Toraja funeral rites are important social events, usually attended by hundreds of people and lasting for several days. (Full article...)
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East Timor (/ˈtmɔːr/ (listen)), also known as Timor-Leste (/tiˈmɔːr ˈlɛʃt/; Portuguese pronunciation: [ti'moɾ 'lɛʃ.tɨ]; Tetum: Timór Lorosa'e), officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (Portuguese: República Democrática de Timor-Leste, Tetum: Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste), is an island country in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island surrounded by Indonesian West Timor. Australia is the country's southern neighbour, separated by the Timor Sea. The country's size is 15,007 square kilometres (5,794 sq mi). Dili is its capital.

East Timor was colonised by Portugal in the sixteenth century and was known as Portuguese Timor until 28 November 1975, when the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin) declared the territory's independence. Nine days later, it was invaded and occupied by the Indonesian military; it was declared Indonesia's 27th province the following year. The Indonesian occupation of East Timor was characterised by a violent, decades-long conflict between separatist groups (especially Fretilin) and the Indonesian military. (Full article...)

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Khan at an event for Hyundai in 2018
Khan at an event for Hyundai in 2018

Shah Rukh Khan (pronounced [ˈʃɑːɦɾʊx xɑːn]; born 2 November 1965), also known by the initialism SRK, is an Indian actor, film producer, and television personality who works in Hindi films. Referred to in the media as the "Baadshah of Bollywood" (in reference to his 1999 film Baadshah), "King of Bollywood" and "King Khan", he has appeared in more than 80 films, and earned numerous accolades, including 14 Filmfare Awards. The Government of India has awarded him the Padma Shri, and the Government of France has awarded him the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the Legion of Honour. Khan has a significant following in Asia and the Indian diaspora worldwide.

Khan began his career with appearances in several television series in the late 1980s. He made his Bollywood debut in 1992 with Deewana. Early in his career, Khan was recognised for portraying villainous roles in the films Baazigar (1993), Darr (1993), and Anjaam (1994). He then rose to prominence after starring in a series of romantic films, including Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Mohabbatein (2000) and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001). Khan went on to earn critical acclaim for his portrayal of an alcoholic in Devdas (2002), a NASA scientist in Swades (2004), a hockey coach in Chak De! India (2007) and a man with Asperger syndrome in My Name Is Khan (2010). His highest-grossing films include the comedies Chennai Express (2013), Happy New Year (2014), Dilwale (2015), and the crime film Raees (2017). Many of his films display themes of Indian national identity and connections with diaspora communities, or gender, racial, social and religious differences and grievances. (Full article...)

General images

The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Visitors bowing in a show of respect for North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il on Mansudae (Mansu Hill) in Pyongyang, North Korea.

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Updated: 1:33, 20 March 2022

In the news

20 March 2022 –
South Korean car company Hyundai announces that the Genesis Motor brand has surpassed 700,000 units in accumulative global sales. (Korea Herald)
Nowruz 1401 Iranian nation new solar hijri year and new 14th century beginning.
19 March 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Asia
COVID-19 pandemic in India
Maharashtra reports 97 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, making it the first time that the Indian state has reported less than 100 new cases of COVID-19 since April 2020. (Business Standard)
COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China

Updated: 7:33, 20 March 2022

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Taiwan Republic of China / Taiwan

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150pxBirds and Flower of the Four Seasons
Credit: Kanō Eitoku

Birds and flowers of the four seasons (紙本墨画花鳥図, shihon bokuga kachōzu), part of the Paintings on room partitions in the abbot's quarters (hōjō) (方丈障壁画, hōjō shōhekiga) of Jukō-in (聚光院) of Daitoku-ji (大徳寺), Kyoto, Japan. Ink on paper. This picture shows four of 16 panels on fusuma (sliding doors) in the in the ritual room (室中). The paintings have been designated as National Treasures of Japan in the category paintings.

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