Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Southeast Asia - Middle School

Study this list to review the land features, natural resources, and political structures of countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Learn about flora such as lemongrass and mangrove, fauna such as the pangolin and the tapir, and weather events like cyclones and typhoons.
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  1. Achmad Sukarno
    Indonesian statesman who obtained the independence of Indonesia from the Netherlands in 1949 and served as president until ousted by Suharto in a coup d'etat (1901-1970)
  2. agrarian
    relating to rural matters
  3. agriculture
    the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock
  4. Andaman Sea
    part of the Bay of Bengal to the west of the Malay Peninsula
  5. animism
    the doctrine that all natural objects have souls
  6. armistice
    a state of peace agreed to between opponents
  7. Association of Southeast Asian Nations
    an association of nations dedicated to economic and political cooperation in southeastern Asia and who joined with the United States to fight against global terrorism
  8. authoritarian
    characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule
  9. Bahasa
    the dialect of Malay used as the national language of the Republic of Indonesia or of Malaysia
  10. Bali
    an island in Indonesia to the east of Java
  11. Bangkok
    the capital and largest city and chief port of Thailand
  12. batik
    a dyed fabric
  13. Bay of Bengal
    an arm of the Indian Ocean to the east of India
  14. Bengal tiger
    southern short-haired tiger
  15. Borneo
    3rd largest island in the world
  16. Brunei
    a sultanate in northwestern Borneo
  17. Buddhism
    a religion represented by the many groups (especially in Asia) that profess various forms of the Buddhist doctrine and that venerate Buddha
  18. buffer state
    a neutral country situated between two rival powers
  19. Cambodia
    a nation in southeastern Asia
  20. canal
    long and narrow strip of water for boats or for irrigation
  21. capitalism
    an economic system based on private ownership of assets
  22. cash crop
    a cultivated plant that is grown to be sold for profit
  23. Christianity
    a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior
  24. civil war
    a war between factions in the same country
  25. coastal
    located on or near or bordering on a shore
  26. coastline
    the outline of a coast
  27. colonialism
    exploitation by a stronger country of a weaker one
  28. colony
    a geographical area controlled by a distant country
  29. colugo
    arboreal nocturnal mammal of southeast Asia and the Philippines resembling a lemur and having a fold of skin on each side from neck to tail that is used for long gliding leaps
  30. commonwealth
    a politically organized body of people under a government
  31. communism
    a form of socialism that abolishes private ownership
  32. Confucianism
    the teachings of Confucius emphasizing love for humanity
  33. coup d'etat
    a sudden and decisive change of government by force
  34. crude oil
    a dark oil consisting mainly of hydrocarbons
  35. cyclone
    a violent rotating windstorm
  36. deforestation
    the state of being clear of trees
  37. delta
    a low area of alluvial deposits where a river divides
  38. democracy
    a political system in which power lies in a body of citizens
  39. development
    making some area of land or water more profitable or useful
  40. Dien Bien Phu
    the French military base fell after a siege by Vietnam troops that lasted 56 days; ended the involvement of France in Indochina in 1954
  41. diversity
    noticeable variety
  42. domino theory
    idea that communist nations will convert neighboring nations
  43. dry season
    one of the two seasons in tropical climates
  44. earthquake
    vibration from underground movement along a fault plane
  45. East Timor
    a former Portuguese colony that was annexed by Indonesia in 1976; voted for independence from Indonesia in 1999 and in May 2002 became an independent nation
  46. embargo
    a government order imposing a trade barrier
  47. entrepot
    a port where merchandise can be imported and then exported without paying import duties
  48. erosion
    the process of wearing or grinding something down
  49. eruption
    the sudden occurrence of a violent discharge
  50. ethnic group
    people of the same race or nationality who share a distinctive culture
  51. fauna
    all the animal life in a particular region or period
  52. Filipino
    of or relating to or characteristic of the Philippines or its people or customs
  53. flora
    all the plant life in a particular region or period
  54. galangal
    southeastern Asian perennial with aromatic roots
  55. gemstone
    a crystalline rock that can be cut and polished for jewelry
  56. globalization
    growth to a worldwide scale
  57. Hanoi
    the capital city of Vietnam; located in North Vietnam
  58. highland
    elevated (e.g., mountainous) land
  59. Hinduism
    the religion of most people in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal
  60. Hmong
    a people living traditionally in mountain villages in southern China and adjacent areas of Vietnam and Laos and Thailand; many have emigrated to the United States
  61. Ho Chi Minh City
    a city in South Vietnam
  62. human right
    any basic freedom to which all people are entitled
  63. import
    commodities bought from a foreign country
  64. independence
    freedom from control or influence of another or others
  65. Indian Ocean
    the 3rd largest ocean
  66. indigenous
    originating where it is found
  67. Indochina
    a peninsula of southeastern Asia that includes Myanmar and Cambodia and Laos and Malaysia and Thailand and Vietnam
  68. Indonesia
    a republic in southeastern Asia on an archipelago including more than 13,000 islands; achieved independence from the Netherlands in 1945; the principal oil producer in the Far East and Pacific regions
  69. industrialization
    the development of commercial enterprise
  70. infrastructure
    basic facilities needed for the functioning of a country
  71. instability
    a disorderly state
  72. insular
    relating to or characteristic of or situated on an island
  73. Irrawaddy River
    the main river of Myanmar rising in the north and flowing south through the length of Burma to empty into the Andaman Sea
  74. Islam
    the monotheistic religious system of Muslims
  75. isthmus
    a narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas
  76. Jakarta
    capital and largest city of Indonesia
  77. Java
    an island in Indonesia to the south of Borneo
  78. Javanese
    the Indonesian language spoken on Java
  79. Khmer
    a native or inhabitant of Cambodia
  80. Khmer Rouge
    a communist organization formed in Cambodia in 1970
  81. kingdom
    the domain ruled by a monarch
  82. Komodo dragon
    the largest lizard in the world
  83. Krakatoa
    a small volcanic island in Indonesia between Java and Sumatra; its violent eruption in 1883 was the greatest in recorded history
  84. Kuala Lumpur
    the largest city and former capital of Malaysia until 2005
  85. Laos
    a mountainous landlocked communist state in southeastern Asia; achieved independence from France in 1949
  86. lemongrass
    a tropical grass native to India and Sri Lanka
  87. Luzon
    the main island of the Philippines
  88. mainland
    the main land mass of a country or continent
  89. Malay Peninsula
    a peninsula in southeastern Asia occupied by parts of Malaysia and Thailand and Myanmar
  90. Malaysia
    a constitutional monarchy in southeastern Asia on Borneo and the Malay Peninsula; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1957
  91. Mandalay
    a city in central Myanmar to the north of Rangoon
  92. mangrove
    a tree that grows in salty, tropical water near the coast
  93. Manila
    the capital and largest city of the Philippines
  94. manufacture
    put together out of artificial or natural components
  95. manufacturing
    the act of making something (a product) from raw materials
  96. maritime
    relating to ships or navigation
  97. martial law
    military rule over civilian affairs
  98. Mekong River
    an Asian river
  99. metropolitan
    relating to or characteristic of a large urban area
  100. migration
    the movement of persons from one locality to another
  101. Mindanao
    the second largest island of the Philippines at the southern end of the archipelago; mountainous and volcanic
  102. monarchy
    autocracy governed by a ruler who usually inherits authority
  103. monsoon
    a seasonal wind in southern Asia
  104. mountainous
    containing many mountains
  105. Mount Pinatubo
    a volcano on Luzon to the northwest of Manila
  106. Muslim
    a believer in or follower of Islam
  107. Myanmar
    a mountainous republic in southeastern Asia on the Bay of Bengal
  108. natural gas
    a fossil fuel in the gaseous state
  109. natural resource
    material in the environment that can be used by people
  110. New Guinea
    a Pacific island to the north of Australia
  111. North Vietnam
    a former country in southeastern Asia that existed from 1954 (after the defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu) until 1975 when South Vietnam collapsed at the end of the Vietnam War
  112. outsource
    obtain goods or services from an external supplier
  113. paddy
    an irrigated or flooded field where rice is grown
  114. pangolin
    a toothless mammal with horny scales and a long snout
  115. peninsula
    a large mass of land projecting into a body of water
  116. petroleum
    a dark oil consisting mainly of hydrocarbons
  117. Philippines
    a republic on the Philippine Islands
  118. Philippine Sea
    a naval battle in World War II
  119. Phnom Penh
    the capital and largest city of Kampuchea
  120. plain
    an extensive tract of level, open land
  121. plateau
    a relatively flat raised area of land
  122. population growth
    increase in the number of people who inhabit a territory or state
  123. prime minister
    head of government, especially of a parliamentary democracy
  124. proboscis monkey
    Borneo monkey having a long bulbous nose
  125. protectorate
    a state or territory partly controlled by a stronger state
  126. rainforest
    a densely wooded tropical area with heavy precipitation
  127. rainy season
    one of the two seasons in tropical climates
  128. Rangoon
    the capital and largest city of Myanmar
  129. Red River
    a tributary of the Mississippi River that flows eastward from Texas along the southern boundary of Oklahoma and through Louisiana
  130. refugee
    an exile who flees for safety
  131. regime
    the governing authority of a political unit
  132. resource
    a new or reserve supply that can be drawn upon when needed
  133. Roman Catholicism
    the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church based in Rome
  134. rural
    of or relating to the countryside as opposed to the city
  135. sanction
    the act of punishing
  136. silt
    mud or clay or small rocks deposited by a river or lake
  137. Singapore
    a country in southeastern Asia on the island of Singapore
  138. socialism
    an economic system based on state ownership of capital
  139. South China Sea
    a tropical arm of the Pacific Ocean near southeastern Asia subject to frequent typhoons
  140. South Vietnam
    a former country in southeastern Asia that existed from 1954 (after the defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu) until 1975 when it was defeated and annexed by North Vietnam
  141. subsistence farming
    farming that provides for the basic needs of the farmer without surpluses for marketing
  142. Suharto
    Indonesian statesman who seized power from Sukarno in 1967
  143. Sulawesi
    a mountainous island in eastern Indonesia
  144. sultan
    the ruler of a Muslim country
  145. sultanate
    country or territory ruled by a sultan
  146. Sumatra
    a mountainous island in western Indonesia
  147. Tagalog
    a member of a people native to the Philippines chiefly inhabiting central Luzon around and including Manila
  148. tamarind
    large tropical seed pod with very tangy pulp that is eaten fresh or cooked with rice and fish or preserved for curries and chutneys
  149. tapir
    large inoffensive chiefly nocturnal ungulate of tropical America and southeast Asia having a heavy body and fleshy snout
  150. terrain
    a piece of ground having specific characteristics
  151. textile
    artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting fibers
  152. Thai
    of or relating to or characteristic of Thailand or its people
  153. Thailand
    a country of southeastern Asia that extends southward along the Isthmus of Kra to the Malay Peninsula
  154. Timor
    an island in Indonesia in the Malay Archipelago
  155. tourism
    the business of providing services to travelers for pleasure
  156. trade
    the commercial exchange of goods and services
  157. tribe
    a group of people with shared ancestry and customs
  158. tropical
    relating to part of the Earth's surface with hot climate
  159. tropics
    the part of the Earth's surface between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn; characterized by a hot climate
  160. tsunami
    a cataclysm resulting from a destructive sea wave
  161. tungsten
    a heavy grey-white metallic element
  162. typhoon
    a tropical cyclone in the western Pacific or Indian oceans
  163. urbanization
    the social process whereby cities grow
  164. valley
    a long depression in the surface of the land
  165. Vientiane
    the capital and largest city of Laos
  166. Vietnam
    a communist state in Indochina on the South China Sea
  167. Visayan
    a member of the most numerous indigenous people of the Philippines
  168. Visayan Islands
    group of islands in the central Philippines
  169. volcano
    a fissure in the earth's crust through which gases erupt
  170. wetland
    an ecosystem, like a bog or swamp, saturated with water
Created on February 22, 2017 (updated March 31, 2017)

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