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Southeast Asian Region and Orientalism

In: Other Topics

Submitted By janexu1212
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Pages 10
Introduction

Southeast Asia is an imagined region comprising eleven independent countries. Although these countries have many distinct patterns and thus defined as one region, they remain differentiated, from their indigenous history background, their environmental and physical differences, their religious tolerance, as well as their current political and economical status. The characteristic of this region can be described as: diversity (K Danielson, 2009).

In my research paper, I will draw Indonesia as a representation of the whole Southeast Asia region. The reason for doing so is due to Indonesia’s diverse characteristic, which I believe is very representative of the region as a whole. By analyzing President Barack Obama’s speech: “Indonesia’s Example to the World”, I will discuss how Obama portrays Indonesia as a Southeast Asia country in five areas: environment, people, economic, politics, and religion. Further, I will bring up the ideas of Orientalism and Othering and discuss whether Obama’s speech reveals these two concepts and how these concepts helped illustrate Indonesia as well as the Southeast Asia region.

Indonesia in Obama’s Speech

In the first place, with regards to the environmental issue, Obama mentioned about the “tsunami and the volcanic eruptions” (B Obama, 2010). Truly, these are the life threatening environmental problems in not only Indonesia, but also the whole Southeast Asia area. I will cite the most recent event, Typhoon Haiyan in Philippine, as an example (The Guardian, 2013). The frequently bring up of these environmental problems, both in Obama’s speech and
1

mxu033@u.washington.edu

Minyue Xu

1364917

other media sources, illustrates the Southeast Asia as a region full of natural disasters and might further evokes sympathy. In the second place, Obama introduced the concept of “people” in Indonesia, which I think...

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