Past Events

Asia’s Maritime Region: Lessons from Long History

Penang Institute is proud to host a public forum titled “Asia’s Maritime Region: Lessons from Long History” which is scheduled as follows:

Date: 12 March 2019, Tuesday
Time: 7:30pm – 9:00pm (registration starts at 7:00pm)
Venue: Conference Hall, Penang Institute

Geography has played a major role in determining the destiny of Nusantaria – often referred to as maritime Southeast Asia. The essential unity of Nusantaria is provided by the sea and seafaring traditions that have helped create a common linguistic, cultural and trading zone. This region encompasses a huge area ranging from Malaysia to Vietnam, from Indonesia to the Philippines. The prevailing winds and navigable straits have been uniquely important in connecting the peoples of the lands and shores of Nusantaria. At the same time, the region was intimately connected to East Asia and India, and beyond to Africa and the Middle East. This talk argues that Southeast Asia has long been part of a global system, located at a crucial maritime and cultural crossroads. Its gradual decline was initiated by European colonialism leading to dramatic economic, political and social transformations in the 19th and 20th centuries. This, in turn, opens up an urgent question: where does this history leave the region and its cohesion today?

About the speaker
Philip Bowring is a journalist who has been based in Asia since 1973. His professional posts include 20 years with the Far Eastern Economic Review, latterly as editor, a correspondent for the Financial Times, a columnist for the International Herald Tribune, a contributor to numerous other publications, and a founder of the website Asia Sentinel ( Born in Britain in 1942, he was educated at Cambridge University (MA in History) and the University of Khartoum. He lives in Hong Kong and is married to Claudia Mo Man-ching, a member of the special administrative region’s legislative council.