Coastal cultures of the Indian Ocean/Arabian Sea

It is interesting to observe the cultural similarities between the coastal regions of South-West India, the Southern Middle East, and East Africa.  For example, check out these pictures of mens’ clothing that I got from a simple Google Image search:

You can also see similarities between Ethiopian and South Indian foods, especially how they are both based in using some sort of soft bread and rice to eat chutneys and curries with.

I started thinking about the regions’ shared history and culture again after reading this essay, on the current tensions around race and hierarchy between Indian Tamils and East Africans.  It is unfortunate that consciousness around regional history and culture is at such a low point; reclaiming these regional understandings and connections at the local level will almost certainly  be required if progress is to be made against racialist and nationalist and chauvinist attitudes.  And it is also bizarre, considering that when looking at a map its exceedingly obvious just how close these regions are, and how interconnected they would have been through centuries of ocean-based trade networks and migration patterns.

Arabian Sea Region

Screenshot of the Arabian Sea and surrounding countries via Google Maps.




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One thought on “Coastal cultures of the Indian Ocean/Arabian Sea

  1. mukul chand December 19, 2015 at 8:15 pm Reply

    Great Post.


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