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COM10003 - Assessment 2A - Mainland South East Asia by The Kung Fu Pandas
Transcript of COM10003 - Assessment 2A - Mainland South East Asia by The Kung Fu Pandas
In a nutshell...
By The Kung Fu Pandas
Hopefully this presentation provided you with some helpful, never-before-heard information about Mainland South East Asia and you feel ready to embark on your journey, making the most of your stay in an unknown culture.
Travelling to South East Asia?
This presentation provides a quick overview of the six countries of Mainland South East Asia in regards to its capital cities, politics, genders, customs and cuisine.
While there is so much to know before you embark on your journey, we are only presenting the most interesting facts that you may not read about in your run-of-the-mill travel brochure.
So sit back, relax and enjoy these “need-to-know” facts about Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar...
Thailand’s capital city is Bangkok, known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon.
Bangkok, with its population of around 9 million people (Cia.gov, 2015a) originated in the 15th century, under the rule of the ancient Siamese Kingdom of ‘Ayutthaya’.
Bangkok is a ‘sister city’ of 23 cities in 15 different countries.
Bangkok at Sunset
Thailand is a Constitutional Monarchy with the King of Thailand as the head of state.
(Not So) Fun Fact: Thailand is in a political transition as the Thai Army led a coup and declared martial law in May 2014 (Tourism Thailand, 2015).
‘Kathoey’, a third gender in Thai society, is a cross gender male, most commonly known as a ‘ladyboy’ (World Gender Customs, n.d.).
Kathoey culture has co-existed harmoniously with the dominant Buddhist society for centuries under the principle that one is born a kathoey due to previous transgressions in their past life (Totman, 2012).
A typical Thai greeting is called the 'wai', a prayful gesture, says Hamlett (n.d.).
While Powell (2005) notes that disrespectful remarks about Thailand’s royals could cost you a fine, Suwanvanichkij (2009) encourages wearing yellow on Mondays to honour the day the Thai king was born.
The Thai Wai
According to Daoruang (2007), Thailand's cuisine is robust and flavoursome.
The food is a blend of hot, sour, sweet and salty flavours, which usually contains fresh vegetables, grains, fruit, legumes, nuts and fish.
The main food in Thailand is Rice.
Typical Thai Cuisine
Malaysia’s capital city is Kuala Lumpur, home to an estimated 1.6 million people.
It is also home to the tallest twin-buildings in the world, The Petronas Twin Towers, standing at 451.9 metres (Tourism Malaysia, 2015).
Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia is another example of a Constitutional Monarchy and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or King, of Malaysia is the head of state.
Fun Fact: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is one of the only elected monarchs in the world (Wonderful Malaysia, 2015).
The Malaysian state and religious leaders police sexuality, whereby any sexual orientation and practice divergent of heterosexuality, is seen as abhorrent.
Homosexuality is also illegal (Joseph, 2014).
As summarised by Maranon (2003), handshakes are only reciprocated when the woman offers her hand first, otherwise a smile and nod or a ‘salam’ is safest.
A useful thing to note is that Malaysians are usually late to appointments, however expect others to be on time…
Colourful Malay Women
SBS (2015a) claims most of Malaysian food to be spicy, although it may not be hot-chilli based.
Malaysian food is influenced by Thai, Chinese, Indonesian and Indian cuisine.
Malaysian Signature Dish 'Nasi Lemak'
Malay Customs Officers
Cambodia’s capital city is Phnom Penh.
Hosting around 2.2 million people, it is located on the Mekong River and was once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’ due to its French charm (LeBoutillier & Shahida Ariff, 2004).
Phnom Penh at night
Cambodia is a Constitutional Monarchy with the King as head of state.
(Not So) Fun Fact: The current Prime Minister and his government have been regularly accused of ignoring human rights and suppressing political dissent, often with violence (Asian Info, 2015).
Cambodia incorporates a third and fourth gender, known as ‘short hairs’ (sak) and ‘long hairs’.
Shorts hairs are men who have sex with other men, unbeknownst to their wives, and long hairs are most commonly known as transgender males (Earth, 2006).
As stated in Kwintessential (2014a), harmony is crucial and only exists through a strict social hierarchy.
Cambodians choose their words wisely and would rather stay quiet than lose face or embarrass anyone else.
They do not celebrate birthdays and mostly do not know their own age.
Traditional Cambodian Dance & Costumes
The ministry of Tourism Cambodia (2015) states that almost every meal contains a bowl of rice and can include noodles, soups, grills, stir-fries, curries, salads, desserts, lots of vegetables and tropical fruit.
Typical 'Khmer' Food
The capital city of Laos is Vientiane, pronounced “Vieng Chan”.
Its population is approximately 760,000 (Cia.gov, 2015b).
Located on the banks of the Mekong river, Vientiane is a huge tourist destination due to the many temples accessible to foreigners.
Vientiane at night
Another Socialist Democratic Republic, with the President of Laos as the head of state.
Fun Fact: As with Vietnam, Laos is one of the world’s five remaining communist states (Business in Asia, 2015).
Although Laos recognises full gender equality in law, many concede that Buddhism, the dominant Lao religion, serves to entrench female inequities with the common belief held that a woman can only attempt to reach nibbana, if she is reborn a male (Kislenko, 2009).
A very harmonious culture, where conflict is avoided. According to Advameg (2007), crying is therefore actively discouraged in children.
Families traditionally sleep in one room until the children reach puberty, even in affluent families where children have their own rooms.
A typical home in regional Laos
According to Laos-Guide-999 (2014), although similar to the food found in north-eastern Thailand, Laos cuisine differs from other Asian countries.
Lao dishes are made up of a selection of fish, chicken, pork, beef and vegetables, seasoned with herbs and served with rice or noodles.
Typical Laotian Food
The capital city of Vietnam is Hanoi.
Being the second largest city in Vietnam, with a population of around 2.6 million in its urban area, in 2010 it celebrated its 1000th year since its founding (The United Nations in Vietnam, 2015).
Hanoi, at the bank of the Red River
Vietnam is a Socialist Democratic Republic with the President of Vietnam as the head of state.
Fun Fact: Vietnam is one of the world’s five remaining communist states. As such, the Communist Party of Vietnam has incredible influence over the government (Vietnam Embassy USA, 2015).
Vietnamese Police Officer
The ideology of yin and yang held in Vietnam, insists that men and women are not the same and cannot be equal for the harmonious workings of society.
Traditionally, women are caregivers and men seen as breadwinners (Harris & Linh, 2009).
According to Morrison & Conway (2006) handshakes are accepted, however, if too firm it can be interpreted as aggression.
Summarising Kwintessential (2014b), refrain from touching someone’s head or shoulders and do not stand with your hands on your hips or cross your arms in front of your chest.
Vietnamese dishes differ between the north, south and central regions of Vietnam.
Generally speaking, the food is low in fat, flavoursome, in a wonderful mix of herbs and spices (Indochina Pioneer Co., 2015).
Typical Vietnamese Cuisine
The capital city of Burma (also known as Myanmar) is Naypyidaw, pronounced ‘Nay Pee Daw’, roughly translating to ‘Royal Capital'.
Its population is around 925,000 (Oxford Dictionaries, 2015) and is much like Australia’s Canberra, a city built for the soul purpose of servicing the government’s administrative buildings and workers.
The Uppatasaniti Pagoda, Nay Pyi Daw
Burma is a Constitutional Republic with the President as head of state and, unusually so, also the head of government.
(Not So) Fun Fact: Burma suffered egregious human rights abuse under military rule for fifty years, with military officers holding every senior ministerial position. As a result of this corrupt past, the judiciary is not independent of the government (BBC News, 2015).
Although an overwhelmingly Buddhist society, ‘Acaults’ are a third gender in Burma. These cross-gender males serve as a treasured component of its animistic belief system of 37 spirit gods.
Although sex between males is illegal, sex between Burmese males and an Acault is legal (Coleman, Colgan & Gooren, 1992).
Acaults at Nat Pwe Festival
According to Goldsberry, Dinner & William (2014), Burmese women decorate themselves with a 2000-year-old sun-protection beauty secret, the Thanaka, a yellowish paste made from water and mature Thanaka trees. It also tightens pores and has anti-ageing properties.
Traditional Burmese Thanaka
According to SBS (2015b), Burmese cuisine usually consists of a variety of meat-, fish- and vegetable dishes served with rice and curries.
Typical Burmese Cuisine
The talks between Vietnam-Laos' general departments of politics
All facts provided have been sourced using Metzger’s (2007) five criteria to assess credibility of web-based information. Sources have been checked for their accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency and coverage/scope by employing Metzger & Flanagin’s checklist model as summarised in Metzger (2007).
Care has been taken in trying to only provide information from reliable and credible sources by checking the date of publishing, author qualifications and credentials, peer-reviewed accreditations, as well as analysing hidden objectives of the author and validating information through multiple sources.
Kathoey on Soi Bangla Rd, Phuket
Lao women preparing a nutritious meal
(RY Blog, 2015)
(Schahryar Photoblog, n.d.)
(Parmida Travel, n.d.)
(Thai Cuisine, 2015)
(Nasi Lemak, 2015)
(Angkor Wat, 2015)
(Dreaming for Phom Penh, 2015)
(Khmer Food, 2015)
(Xieng Khuan, 2015)
(Vientiane at night, 2015)
(Lao Political meeting, 2015)
(World Bank Photo Collection, 2012)
(Adventure Laos, 2014)
(Laotian Cuisine, 2001)
(Natural beauty, 2015)
(Vietnamese cuisine, 2015)
(Uppatasaniti Pagoda, 2015)
(Myanmar Food and Drinks, 2015)