Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Reflections: The Most Spoken Languages* in the World

Of the 7,000-plus living languages today,  Chinese tops the list with over one billion speakers, while English comes in second, with 942 million speakers....

Reflections: Chess – An Asian Game Well Played

The origins of the ubiquitous game of strategy, chess, lie in an instructional military model used in ancient India to plan battles. This model...

UNESCO Heritage Sites of Asia

Spectacular landforms, splendid architecture, historical cities, natural wonders and spiritual centres: Asia has them all. Asian Geographic looks at the spectacular UNESCO Heritage Sites...

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

(Photo: Graphicaartis/Corbis) The Hanging Gardens of Babylon has captured the imagination of historians worldwide for centuries. Yet, its existence remains a debate as years of...

Casting Light

Born in the golden age of Muslim civilisation as Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haitham – often called Alhazen by Western theorists –...

Zheng He: Leader of the Ming Dynasty’s Treasure Voyages

The Ming Dynasty’s treasure voyages consisted of seven maritime expeditions made by Ming China’s treasure fleet between 1405 to 1433. The expedition was commanded...

The Mothers of Invention: Explore the History of Asian Innovation

From pottery, farming to weaving and writing, some of the most fundamental innovations of civilisation were created by Asians. Asian Geographic uncovers some of...

Kampong Glam: Passage to Mecca

The area of Kampong Glam in Singapore is more than meets the eye. Beneath Haji Lane’s gentlemen’s barbers and Arab Street’s lively bar lies...

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Popular articles

Sepak Takraw , Singapore , Asian Sports

The Uniquely Southeast Asian Sport of Sepak Takraw

Sepak takraw may have been around since the 15th century, but it’s no forgotten relic. Find out more about the history of this fast-growing sport – and its bid for Olympic recognition

The Starch of Sweet Success

Lush emerald rice paddies provide textural contrast to limpid fish ponds filled with ceaselessly darting pearly carp, attesting to the abundant bounty of the Pearl River Delta, South China’s blessing.


The Hindu devotee’s hands are pressed together. His palms touch, close to his chest, and his fingers point upwards. His brightly-coloured turban is in stark contrast to his thick white beard. “Namaste,” he says with a slight bow. Literally translated, the word means “I bow to the divine in you.” A respectful greeting, namaste, or namaskar, combined with the wordless hand gesture, conveys the same meaning of acknowledgement for a loved one, a guest or a stranger, regardless of the speaker’s language, culture or religion.