|In our web site, we are hoping to address and cover at least some of the most significant events, conflicts, and issues that have manifested themselves this year. Some of these have had relatively few international repercussions, and some have played major roles in the international community. We are hoping that by presenting them to you, the situations in the world's oldest melting pot will be more comprehensible -- particularly to those of you who do not have much background in the history and state of affairs of Asia.||
Asia is in many ways the world's original melting pot. It is the homeland of all of the world's most prominent religions, a traditional center of culture, and the home of one of the most historically thriving and diverse economies. The Middle East is the home of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Buddhism and Hinduism were born in Central Asia, and East Asia has bred some less internationally influential religions including Shintoism and Confucianism. All of these religions have spread widely within the greater Asian community and around the world. In ancient times, Asia was one of the world's most prominent centers of culture. The Chinese dynasties were renowned for their art and music as were the ancient Indians. The Japanese can claim the first novel, and the Asian mainland can claim the first paper. The Silk Road not only served to make the Asian economy thrive, it also served as a route to spread Asian Culture. Missionaries began to move to Asia, and they often adopted local customs and then brought them back with them upon their return to Europe. Asia provided many staples and many luxuries to the European communities. They provided silk, spices, tea, cane sugar, precious metals, gemstones, and cotton. The Asian economy has always been diverse, and has traditionally played a major role in the European economy.