Eastern world

countries and cultures east of Europe

The term Eastern world means very broadly the various cultures or social structures and philosophical systems of Eastern Asia or geographically the Eastern Culture. This includes the Indian subcontinent (which is Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Nepal and sometimes Afghanistan), the Far East (which is China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Mongolia, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea), Eastern Europe/Eurasia (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkey). The Middle East/Near East and Central Asia are, as their names imply, often considered 'east' in terms of Europe


An image of the "Eastern world" defined as Asia.

The division between "East" and "West" is from European cultural history. There is a difference between European Christendom and the alien cultures beyond it to the East. With the European colonization of the Americas the East/West distinction became global. The idea of an Eastern, "Indian" (Indies) or "Oriental" sphere was made stronger by ideas of racial as well as religious and cultural differences. Such differences were shown by Westerners in the scholarly tradition known as Orientalism and Indology. People from the East are known by certain regions in the West as "Oriental". During the Cold War, the term "Eastern world" was sometimes used to mean the Eastern Bloc, which was the Soviet Union, China and their communist allies. The term "Western world" often meant the United States and its NATO allies such as the United Kingdom. The idea is often another term for the Far East—a region that bears considerable cultural and religious sameness. Eastern philosophy, art, literature, and other traditions, are often found throughout the region in places of high importance, such as popular culture, architecture and traditional literature. The spread of Buddhism and Hindu Yoga is partly responsible for this.

Eastern culture

An image of the "Eastern world" defined as the "Far East", consisting of three overlapping cultural blocks: East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.
The distribution of the two major families of world religion, Dharmic religion and Abrahamic religion, highlights the religious difference between the Far East and the rest of the world.

Eastern culture has created many themes and traditions. Some important ones are:


  • Ankerl, Guy (2000) [2000]. Global communication without universal civilization. INU societal research. Vol. 1: Coexisting contemporary civilizations : Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western. Geneva: INU Press. ISBN 2-88155-004-5.