On my Facebook, one of my friends shared this Wikipedia article on my wall: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lopburi
Lobpuri, a major city in Thailand, was named after Lahore (yes, the one in Punjab), reflecting long-standing ties between South Asia and SE Asia.
I remember one traditional “mind-blowing” fact was that India had a larger Muslim population than Pakistan, but a cursory look at WolframAlpha says otherwise.
It’s most likely that this statement became true upon Bangladesh’s independence, Pakistan had less Muslims than India (in 1971). But it stopped being true sometime in the mid-2000s.
Regression to the mean is a statistical phenomenon that relates to the behavior of “outlier” (on both extremely high and low ends) data points eventually returning to the mean (average) over time. Usually this occurs if you have a small set of observations that are not random.
Examples of this phenomenon include observations that tall parents will have children not as tall as they are. Another is that rich parents will typically not have children as rich as they are.
One example that stood out to me was the case of Mughal descendants, in this article here: http://www.fravahr.org/spip.php?breve820
“She had run a street tea stand until her husband’s death, and now occasionally makes stone bangles for 25 Rupees a day (¢ 50). It’s a far cry from the riches of an empire which once stretched from Afghanistan to what is today Bangladesh.”
Even though the relative position of their empire had declined from their founding in 1526 until the British deposed the last emperor in 1857. The mean regression since than still represents a precipitous decline in fortunes since than.
Amusingly this also means that from 1997 to 2002, while Mughal descendants were living on 50 cents per day, a man of Dalit background was President of India.
Dow Jones has a good summary of how much of the S&P500 sales come from outside the US. I naturally expect this number to go higher over time. I also wish there was information for the years before 2005.
An easy to read article on endangered South Asian languages, which does a good job at showing the urgency of linguistic fieldwork needed in South Asia.
Endangered Languages of South Asia By George van Driem (2007)
Also: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8498534.stm, the last speaker of Bo, a language found in the Andaman Islands has passed away.
Gulab Jamun, courtesy of Quora.
As a complement to a previous post.
I decided to show a chart that compares China, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
This does a good job of showing the relatively recent awesome growth of China.
It’s fairly interesting that Sub-Saharan Africa was ahead of both South Asia and China until the early 90s and that China was been behind South Asia even.
Fellow contributor Omar posts a lot on sectarian relations in Pakistan, so I decided to look up data on Sunni views of Shias globally.
Notice, how Iraq and Lebanon which are heavily sectarianized societies still have high rates of sectarian acceptance compared to Pakistan, which seems like an outlier in the countries that have 6% or more self-ID’d Shias.
By contrast, Bangladeshi Sunnis seem to accept Shias as Muslims at fairly high rates.
I’m in awe that even after the turf battles that engulfed Baghdad and the rest of the country, along with the specter of sectarian militias post-Saddam, and the sharp disjoint political divide that there is acceptance of Shias as being in the fold of Islam. Even more than in Pakistan.
It would have been useful to see differences between Iraqi Sunnis on this question along ethnic lines, specifically Arab and Kurd and see how they differ.
Interestingly, a stylized fact at a global level is that Sunni females are more accepting of Shias as Muslims than Sunni males, the gender gap goes the other way in Pakistan for some reason, but isn’t really significant statistically.
There’s more to be found in this long and detailed PDF report here: http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Religious_Affiliation/Muslim/the-worlds-muslims-full-report.pdf
I floated the idea of a reader survey to some contributors. Let me know what you think of the idea.
Also, feel free to post questions you’d like to see on the survey.
However I can’t promise that all of the questions will be featured.
I’m a fan of linguistics. I became interested in languages in college, largely due to my ex-roommate’s interest in the languages of Central America/Mexico rubbing off on me.
I personally like this map, despite the relatively minor (in terms of number of speakers) missing isolates of Kusunda and Nihali. It’s from the book A Historical Atlas of South Asia.
Pakistan is basically on the frontiers of Indo-Aryan (Indian) and Iranian languages. Parts of extreme Northern India/Nepal/Bhutan forming a belt around the Indian Subcontinent, and with India being home to both Dravidian and Indo-Aryan languages.
I also browse anthropology forums and stumbled upon this PCA plot that’s broken down by language and shows Europe/Near East/Iran/Caucasus along with East Asia compared to speakers of various South Asian languages.
Also one of my favorites showing scripts and place-names within South Asia and those that border South Asia.