the assumption of responsibility for the welfare of the world
Indo-Asia is the cultural sphere of Indian civilization and all those cultures heavily influenced by it. The main creators of this cultural sphere are the Indo-Aryans, a group of Indo-Europeans who entered the Indo-Gangetic Plain approximately four thousand years ago, and came to dominate it. Civilization had already begun in the Indus Valley, probably originated by the Dravidians; but the Indus Valley civilization was already in decline, and the Indo-Aryans displaced or absorbed the aboriginal population.
Aside from the Indo-Aryans themselves, and the Dravidians, Indo-Asia includes the Tibetans and most of the cultures of mainland Southeast Asia — the Burmese and the Mon, the Khmers, and most of the Tai (including the Thai and Lao, and extending up into China). Outside of this Indo-Asia, Indo-Aryan culture has extended in limited ways into insular Southeast Asia and the Chinese sphere as well.
The main elements of this shared Indo-Asian culture are an Indian religion, either Hinduism or Buddhism, inherited or borrowed Indic vocabulary through Sanskrit or Pali, and a script descended from Brahmi.
Hinduism was the original religion of the Indo-Aryans, a pluralist system that admitted many variations. While today Hinduism appears to be a national religion, it was once expansive, reaching as far as the east coast of mainland Southeast Asia, and the island of Bali, and was the immediate pre-Islamic faith of the Malay peoples. Buddhism was clearly a product of a Hindu environment, sharing many features; it was once widespread in India, and while it eventually supplanted Hinduism outside of India, it was itself supplanted by Hinduism within India.
Sanskrit (संस्कृतम् « Săskŗtam ») was the dialect of the Indo-Aryans, though not necessarily in its classical form. It gave rise to all the modern dialects of the Indo-Aryans, which, other than the insular dialects (Sinhalese and Divehi, primarily) form a single dialect continuum:
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