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ASIAN Geographic 1/2020

ASIAN Geographic is the bi-monthly magazine that scours the region to bring readers the most compelling stories and images from the world's largest and most diverse continent. Readers enjoy a unique melting pot of breathtaking photography and in-depth features covering culture, nature, sustainability issues and exploration into the history of this diverse region. A regular 'Exploration' segment follows brave field editors as they travel deep into Asia's unexplored regions to take readers on a journey.

Asian Geographic Magazines Pte Ltd
8 Issues

in this issue

1 min
editor’s note

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”— Rabindranath Tagore My father was a chief engineer for over a third of his life, and spent months at a time on voyages around the world. He and my mother moved from Rajasthan to Mumbai, and eventually to Singapore in the nineties, and I always guessed it was because my father had a vision so far and wide he could never establish a home in one place. While he has stopped sailing, he still works closely with the waters, whether it is regarding ship consultancy, ocean governance, or maritime environmental concerns, and home to him is vast – like the tides he revels in. The ocean does this to us. I’ve never been out at sea, but the deep…

3 min
wu xing: the five corners of a circle

The five phases that the elements represent are around 72 days each and are used to describe a colour, as well as state, in Nature. – Water/Blue/Winter: a period of retreat, where stillness and storage pervades – Wood/Green/Spring: a period of growth, which generates abundant wood and vitality – Fire/Red/Summer: a period of swelling, flowering, brimming with fire and energy – Earth/Brown/Transitional season: the in-between transitional seasonal periods, associated with levelling, dampening (equalling to moderation), and fruition – Metal/Silver/Autumn: a period of harvesting and collecting The concept of wu xing is central in Chinese thought, including the fields of science, philosophy, medicine, astrology, and feng shui. The principle of the five phases describes a creation cycle and a destruction cycle in any sort of interaction between the phases. Creation cycle: – Water nourishes Wood – Wood feeds Fire – Fire…

3 min
flowing through life: the water element

Bruce Lee famously said, “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water, my friend.” Water is one of the five elements in the Chinese philosophy of wu xing. This theory first appeared in the studies of Taoism, during the spring and autumn period sometime between 770–476 BC. It rapidly expanded with its use in Chinese medicine, philosophy, fengshui, fortunetelling, and martial arts – and is still prevalent to date. The five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water – are generated by the interaction between yin and yang. Not…

5 min
the water element across cultures

Japanese beliefs Japanese traditions use a set of elements called the godai, which translates to “five great”. These elements are earth, water, fire, wind/air, and void. The elements are derived from Indian Vastu shastra philosophy and Buddhist beliefs; in addition, the classical Chinese elements (wu xing) are also prominent in Japanese culture, especially to the influential Neo-Confucianists during the Edo period. Sui or mizu, meaning water, represents fluidity, flowing, and the formless things in the world. Outside of rivers and lakes, plants are also categorised under sui, as they adapt to their environment, growing and changing according to the direction of the sun and the changing seasons. Blood and other bodily fluids are represented by sui, as are mental or emotional tendencies towards adaptation and change. Represented by a circle, sui is ready…

2 min
what makes a water baby

If you’re in a cafe or a lounge, chances are that water babies are all around you. Water babies love hanging out with friends and chatting – the deeper the conversation, the better. They are creative writers, musicians, and philosophers, aptly labelled as they enjoy delving into the depths of life. Water babies are the ones at art galleries observing a painting for hours, and the ones that enjoy slow walks and stopping to smell the flowers. Water babies take their time; they don’t rush as they take in everything around them. Water babies like convenience and expect to be served. Doing things themselves and following through with ideas is not their strong suit. Their ideas are unique and inspiring, but putting those ideas into action proves a challenge. Life can looked warped…

4 min
oceans, seas, rivers – what’s the difference?

What Is an Ocean ? An ocean is a huge saltwater body surrounding the continent that covers two-thirds or 71 percent of the Earth’s surface. It is home to vast aquatic animal species and organisms, as well as coral reefs. Earth’s smallest ocean is the Arctic Ocean and the deepest is the Pacific Ocean. Various water movements distinguish the Antarctic (or Southern) Ocean from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The temperatures of the oceans are different in the various parts of the world. For example, icebergs are formed by very cold waters near the poles, while waters around the equator are relatively warm. LARGEST bodies of saltwater The Global Ocean is divided into 5 OCEANS – the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic Oceans. The average depth of the oceans is 3,700m Less than 5%…