South East Asia 500 CE
Indian civilization exerts a deep influence upon the kingdoms and peoples of South East Asia.
What is happening in South East Asia in 500CE
At this stage in its history the region’s strong trading and cultural links with India are at their height. Buddhism has gained a firm foothold in Burma, and Hinduism is a major cultural force throughout much of the rest of South East Asia. With these faiths has come Indian influences in art, architecture and political organization.
In present-day Vietnam, an area formerly full of “wild tribes” has been moulded into a kingdom by leaders of Chinese origin. Like Funan, to the south, it is organized along Indian lines, as are the numerous small kingdoms on the Malayan peninsula, eastern Sumatra and eastern Java.
In northern South East Asia, Mon tribes are expanding in modern-day southern Burma and northern Thailand. This movement may be linked to the drift of Tai (Thai) tribes southwards into Laos and northern Thailand.