Eastern culture

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Confucius's teachings and philosophy has influenced many Eastern cultures, known as Confucianism.
Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Born in modern-day Nepal, his teachings are venerated by numerous religions and communities in countries within East, Southeast and South Asia.
The Garuda, a Hindu demigod and divine creature mentioned in the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain faiths. It is a part of the state insignia of India, Indonesia and Thailand. The Indonesian official coat of arms is centered on the Garuda, and as the symbol of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Eastern culture, also known as Eastern civilization and historically as Oriental culture, is an umbrella term for various cultural heritages of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, artifacts and technologies of the Eastern world.

While there is no singular and catch-all "Eastern culture", there are subgroups within it, such as countries within East Asia, Southeast Asia, or South Asia, as well as syncretism within these regions. These include the spread of Eastern religions such as Buddhism or Hinduism, the usage of Chinese characters or Brahmic scripts, language families, the fusion of cuisines, and traditions, among others.


An image of the "Eastern world" defined as the "Far East", consisting of three overlapping cultural blocks: East Asia (Green), Southeast Asia (Blue), and South Asia (Orange)
A map highlighting the three "easts" as defined by Near East/Middle East (West Asia excluding the Caucasus, with countries in "Greater Middle East" sometimes included) and Far East (East, North and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included).
Buddhist expansion in Asia: Mahayana Buddhism first entered the Chinese Empire (Han dynasty) through Silk Road during the Kushan Era. The overland and maritime "Silk Roads" were interlinked and complementary, forming what scholars have called the "great circle of Buddhism".

The East, as a geographical area, is unclear and undefined. More often, the ideology of a state's inhabitants is what will be used to categorize it as an Eastern society. There is some disagreement about what nations should or should not be included in the category and at what times. Many parts of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire are considered to be distinct from the West and therefore labelled as eastern by most scholars. The Byzantine Empire was primarily influenced by Eastern practices due to its proximity and cultural similarity to Iran and Arabia, thus lacking features seen as "Western". Both Eastern and Western European authors have often perceived Byzantium as a body of religious, political, and philosophical ideas contrary to those of the West.

It is difficult to determine which individuals fit into which category, and the East–West contrast is sometimes criticized as relativistic and arbitrary.[1][2][3] Globalism has spread Western ideas so widely that almost all modern cultures are, to some extent, influenced by aspects of Eastern culture. Stereotypical views of "the East" have been labeled Orientalism, paralleling Occidentalism—the term for the 19th-century stereotyped views of "the West".

As Europeans discovered the wider world, old concepts adapted. The area that had formerly been considered the Orient ("the East") became the Near East as the interests of the European powers interfered with Meiji Japan and Qing China for the first time in the 19th century.[4] Thus, the Sino-Japanese War in 1894–1895 occurred in the Far East while the troubles surrounding the decline of the Ottoman Empire simultaneously occurred in the Near East.[a] The term Middle East in the mid-19th century included the territory east of the Ottoman Empire, but West of China—Greater India and Greater Persia—is now used synonymously with "Near East" in most languages.


The spread of Syriac Christianity to East Asia.
Distribution of Eastern religions (yellow), as opposed to Abrahamic religions (violet).
East Asia cultural region
Southeast Asia cultural region
Indian cultural sphere
Map of Central Asia
Map of the Middle East

While there is no singular Eastern culture of the Eastern world, there are subgroups within it, such as countries within East Asia, Southeast Asia, or South Asia, as well as syncretism within these regions. These include the spread of Eastern religions such as Buddhism or Hinduism, the usage of Chinese characters or Brahmic scripts, language families, the fusion of cuisines, and traditions, among others. Eastern culture has developed many themes and traditions. Some important ones are listed below:








Families have a great importance in Eastern cultures. They teach their children about how the family is their protection and the major source of their identity. Parents expect loyalty from their children. Parents define the law and the children are expected to obey them. This is called filial piety, the respect for one's parents and elders, and it is a concept that originated in China as 孝 (xiao) from Confucian teachings.[11] Children are expected to have self-control, thus making it hard for them to express emotions. They are also expected to show respect through their motions and the way they speak. Children are expected to look after their parents when they grow older.[12] Sons are expected to stay home, while daughters eventually leave and live with their husband's family. In Chinese culture, children are occasionally expected to care for their elders (赡养), and in various diaspora communities one may find Chinese children living with their grandparents.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ British archaeologist D.G. Hogarth published The Nearer East in 1902, which helped to define the term and its extent, including Albania, Montenegro, southern Serbia and Bulgaria, Greece, Egypt, all Ottoman lands, the entire Arabian Peninsula, and Western parts of Iran.


  1. ^ Yin Cheong Cheng, New Paradigm for Re-engineering Education. p. 369
  2. ^ Ainslie Thomas Embree, Carol Gluck, Asia in Western and World History: A Guide for Teaching. p. xvi
  3. ^ Kwang-Sae Lee, East and West: Fusion of Horizons[page needed]
  4. ^ Davidson, Roderic H. (1960). "Where is the Middle East?". Foreign Affairs. 38 (4): 665–75. doi:10.2307/20029452. JSTOR 20029452. S2CID 157454140.
  5. ^ Dawson, Christopher; Glenn Olsen (1961). Crisis in Western Education (reprint ed.). p. 108. ISBN 9780813216836.
  6. ^ a b "Global Christianity – A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population" (PDF). Pew Research Center.
  7. ^ Hindson, Edward E.; Mitchell, Daniel R. (1 August 2013). The Popular Encyclopedia of Church History. Harvest House Publishers. p. 225. ISBN 9780736948074.
  8. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainKohler, Kaufmann (1901–1906). "Judaism". In Singer, Isidore; et al. (eds.). The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.
  9. ^ C. Held, Colbert (2008). Middle East Patterns: Places, People, and Politics. Routledge. p. 109. ISBN 9780429962004. Worldwide, the Druze number 1 million or so, with about 45 to 50 percent of them living in Syria, 35 to 40 percent living in Lebanon, and less than 10 percent living in Israel. Recently, there has been a growing Druze diaspora.
  10. ^ "Ramoji Film City sets record". Business Line. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2007.
  11. ^ "Cultural Values of Asian Patients and Families – Dimensions of Culture". www.dimensionsofculture.com. Archived from the original on 21 November 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  12. ^ "The Value and Meaning of the Korean Family". Asia Society. Retrieved 15 November 2016.