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Encyclopedia > Orient

The term the Orient - literally meaning "sunrise, east" - is traditionally used to refer to Near, Middle, and Far Eastern countries. For example, Mizrahi Jews (native to the Middle East) are often referred to as Oriental Jews, while the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies focuses on Africa as well as the Middle East and East Asia. Sunrise over the sea Sunrise, also called sunup in some American English dialects, is the time at which the first part of the Sun appears above the horizon in the east. ... East is most commonly a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography. ... The Near East is a term commonly used by archaeologists and historians, less commonly by journalists and commentators, to refer to the region encompassing the Levant (modern Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon), Anatolia (modern Turkey), Mesopotamia (Iraq and eastern Syria), and the Iranian Plateau (Iran). ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... Far East is a term often used for East Asia and Southeast Asia combined, sometimes including also the easternmost territories of Russia, i. ... Mizrachi is also an organisation of the Religious Zionist Movement Mizrahi Jews or Oriental Jews (מזרחי eastern, Standard Hebrew Mizraḥi, Tiberian Hebrew Mizrāḥî; plural מזרחים easterners, Standard Hebrew Mizraḥim, Tiberian Hebrew Mizrāḥîm) are Jews of Middle Eastern origin; that is to say, their ancestors never left the Middle East. ... Senate House, designed by Charles Holden home to the universitys central administration offices and its library The University of London is a federation of colleges which together constitute one of the worlds largest universities. ... // School of Oriental and African Studies The School of Oriental and African Studies (often abbreviated to SOAS) was founded in 1916 as the School of Oriental Studies - London Institution primarily to train British administrators for overseas postings across the empire, and has grown into one of the worlds foremost...


The term is derived from the Latin word oriens, referring to where the sun rises in the east. The opposite term Occident - derived from the Latin word occidens, referring to the west - was once used to describe the western world, but has fallen into disuse. Occident has a number of meanings. ... The term Western world can have multiple meanings depending on its context. ...


Traditionally, the Orient referred primarily to the cultures and countries of what are now considered Eastern Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Western Asia. This particularly included Persia, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Egypt. As awareness of the countries of Eastern Asia grew in Western European and American consciousness in the late 19th century, the term came to refer primarily to China, Japan, and the surrounding nations. Remnants of the older conception of the Orient still exist in the English language in such collocations as oriental rug and oriental harem. Persia and Persian can refer to: the Western name for Iran. ... Mesopotamia [mesuputāmÄ“u] (Greek: Μεσοποταμία, translated from Old Persian Miyanrudan the Land between the Rivers or the Aramaic name Beth-Nahrin House of Two Rivers) is a region of Southwest Asia. ... Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to the Asian portion of Turkey. ...


In popular usage, the Orient is most often used in reference to the countries of East Asia, including China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, and sometimes the rest of Southeast Asia. The term oriental refers to people and culture from those areas. Asian countries such as India, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka are no longer generally considered to be part of the Orient. East Asia can be defined in either cultural or geographic terms. ... For other places called Korea, see: Korea (disambiguation) Korea (한국/韓國) is a formerly unified country, situated on the Korean Peninsula in northern East Asia, bordering on China to the northwest and Russia to the north. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ...


Some people think of the term oriental as offensive or politically incorrect, largely because of its perceived connection by some people with nineteenth century European and American attitudes about the region. In this world view, the East was seen as backwards, exotic, and patriarchal, while the West was seen as logical, rational, and more modern. Furthermore, it is claimed that some courses in "Oriental studies" were riddled with inaccurate information that was used to justify colonization of these countries. Some Asian Americans see parallels between the word oriental and nigger, though many see it as simply old-fashioned and functionless, as many African Americans see the word negro. The main criticism of the term is that it is overly vague, referring to a category of peoples with widely divergent cultural and ethnic backgrounds and no clear division between which groups belong to the term and which do not. Major objection to the use of oriental is chiefly limited to North America. Its use is much less controversial in Europe, as well as in Asia where, especially in south-east Asian countries, the word is in comparatively widespread usage. Politically Incorrect was a late-night political talk show hosted by Bill Maher first on Comedy Central and later on ABC, which cancelled it in 2002. ... The word nigger is a highly controversial term used in many English-speaking countries, including the United States, Canada, Britain, and Australia to refer to individuals with dark skin, especially those of African descent who previously were racially classified by the now outdated term Negro. ... World map showing location of North America A satellite composite image of North America North America is a continent in the northern hemisphere, bounded on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west... World map showing location of Asia Asia is the central and eastern part of the continent of Eurasia, defined by subtracting the European peninsula from Eurasia. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ...



Since oriental is used to describe peoples and regions that are to the East only in relation to Europe, this term is considered by many as an example of Eurocentrism. The term Middle Eastern and the geopolitical terms of "the West" and "the East" follow the same pattern, yet are subject to less controversy. Eurocentrism is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing emphasis on European (and, generally, Western) concerns, culture and values at the expense of those of other cultures. ...


See also

Orientalism is the study of Near and Far Eastern societies and cultures by Westerners. ... Orient Watch ORIENT Watch Co. ... The term Asian can refer to something or someone from Asia. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Orienteering - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2635 words)
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