The South East Asian Review

Founded by Dr. Sachchidanand Sahai and late Dr. Sudha Verma

Current Volume: 48 (2023 )

ISSN: 0257-7364

Periodicity: Yearly

Month(s) of Publication: December

Subject: Anthropology Social Science Archaeology

Online Access is Free for Life Member


The South East Asian Review (SEAR) is an interdisciplinary research journal which welcomes papers on any aspect of South East Asian culture, art, archaeology, history, society, religion, language, politics, economy, traditional knowledge, natural and cultural heritage. Since 1976, the goal of the journal has been to disseminate knowledge of the common cultural heritage of India and South East Asia. The journal provides a forum for a broad and diverse group of scholars interested in the study of South East Asia and with a specific thrust on the scholarly works in humanities and social sciences.

South East Asian Review journal also publishes Book Reviews relevant to the theme and scope of the journal. The authors and publishers may send their books on South East Asia after contacting the Academic Editor or Managing Editor via email in this regard.  The authors or publishers may also suggest potential reviewers to review the title.



Editor -in -chief
Dr. Sachchidanand Sahai

Bualuang ASEAN Chair Professor

Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand

Advisor to Apsara Authority, Siem Riep, Cambodia

Former Chair, Department Ancient Indian and Asian Studies

Magadh University, Bodh Gaya, India

Former National Professor of Epigraphy,

Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India

Editorial Board
Dr. Willard Van De Bogart

International Program Coordinator
Sanskrit Studies Center
Silpakorn University
Bangkok, Thailand

Dr. Manjil Hazarika

Academic Editor and Assistant Professor
Department of Archaeology
Cotton University, Assam, India

Dr. Ganga Nath Jha

Former Professor and Chairperson
Center for Southeast Asian Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi, India

Dr. Bachchan Kumar

Former Regional Director 
IGNCA, New Delhi, India

Dr. B.K. Mishra

Assistant Professor
Ancient Indian and Asian Studies
PLS College, Patna, India

Dr. Dean Myers

Retired Lecturer
Southeast Asian History
Jesuit Sophia University, Tokyo

Dr. Chirapat Prapandvidya

Founder, Sanskrit Studies Center
Silpakorn University
Bangkok, Thailand

Dr. Soma Sahai-Srivastava

Managing Editor
Clinical Professor of Neurology
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Dr. Manish Sinha

Professor, Department of History
Magadh University, Bodh Gaya, India

Volume 48 Issue 1 , (Jan-2023 to Dec-2023)

Dr. Manjil Hazarika
Guest Editor

Academic Editor and Assistant Professor
Department of Archaeology
Cotton University,
Assam - India

By: Dr. Manjil Hazarika

Page No : i-iii

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North East India and South East Asia: Tracing the Historical Linkages

By: Nani G. Mahanta , Mrigakhee Saikia

Page No : 1-14

The present article is an attempt to understand the historical and cultural linkages of North East India and South East Asia, perceived in the light of its connections as well as diversities. Based on literary as well as archaeological evidence the paper examines the close cultural interactions and exchanges between these regions since the distant past and which has shaped much of the histories of this part of Asia. Despite the present containment drawn by political boundaries, notions of shared history and regional interconnectedness between the regions since the very early days may be evidenced by the prehistoric commonalities, ethnic and linguistic affinities, similarities in religious beliefs and practices, art and architecture, material culture, migration routes and settlements.

Nani G. Mahanta : 
Director, Centre for South East Asian Studies, Gauhati University & Former Advisor, Education Department, Government of Assam
Mrigakhee Saikia : Assistant Professor, Department of History, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Adarsha Mahavidyalaya, Behali


Price: 101

The Enigma Called the Ambubashi Mela

By: Sneha Das

Page No : 15-25

The Ambubashi mela is the celebration of the menstruating goddess in the Kāmākhyā temple on the Nilachala hills. Along with its ethnological importance in the contemporary times, the mela plays an instrumental role in understanding the history of Kāmākhyā tradition, its myths and its institutionalisation. Characterised by an intricate web of yoni worship, vrata and the concept of tirtha, an in-depth analysis of this mela shows the dynamics and the stimuli that lead to the evolution of a tradition. This article aims to analysing these dynamic historical strains both in terms of the scared and the secular paradigm.

Author :
Sneha Das : 
Independent Researcher, Kharghuli, Barowari, Guwahati, Assam


Price: 101

Evolution of the Hoabinhian Tools during late Pleistocene to Holocene Periods: Review of the Prehistoric Sites in Thailand

By: Thanon Chitkament

Page No : 27-72

The main purpose of this paper is to study the prehistoric sites from different parts of Thailand, especially the Hoabinhian sites. It can help young researchers to understand the previous works, including the exploration and excavation of cultural remains. The geology and the Quaternary deposits can explain the archaeological record and must be well understood in relation to the sites of these regions. This review will help to establish the technical evolutionary trends and relationship between all techniques, used at that time in these sites in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Therefore, an attempt has been made to summarize the important prehistoric sites, apparently related with the Hoabinhian that have been excavated in Thailand. It starts from the older dates in the late Pleistocene and extends to the Holocene period of each region in Thailand.

Author :
Thanon Chitkament : 
47 Bis rue de Maine, 72200, Bazouges-sur-le-Loir, France


Price: 101

Arunachal Pradesh, the Land of Spirituality, Culture and Ethics: its role in India’s Act East Policy

By: Sampa Kundu

Page No : 73-80

Arunachal Pradesh, situated in north-eastern India, is a landlocked state with a predominantly agrarian economy. It boasts a population of over 1.3 million people, representing a rich tapestry of hundreds of distinct tribes. Arunachal Pradesh holds the distinction of being the largest state in Northeast India. The linguistic diversity in Arunachal Pradesh reflects its cultural richness, with languages primarily stemming from the Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, and Austro-Asiatic language families. This linguistic diversity is a testament to the state’s multiculturalism. This state shares its international borders with three countries: Bhutan to the west (covering a span of 160 km), Myanmar to the east (stretching for 520 km), and China to the north (extending over 1129 km). These international borders underscore the geopolitical significance of Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh has played a pivotal role in connecting India with Southeast Asia, particularly through the spread of Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism was introduced to Arunachal Pradesh from Tibet and the Pala kingdom in Bengal. Over the centuries, various Southeast Asian Buddhist missions ventured into the region, promoting Theravada Buddhism. Notably, the Changlang and Namsai districts house the majority of Theravada art, architecture, and monasteries in the state. Local communities in these districts worship a variety of Theravada deities, including Mucalinda (the serpent king, protector of Buddha), Vasundhara (the earth goddess), Upagupta (a powerful saint), and Sivali (the patron saint of travel). This deep-rooted connection with Buddhism positions Arunachal Pradesh as a cultural bridge between India and Southeast Asia. In the broader context of India’s Act East Policy, Arunachal Pradesh assumes a vital role by fostering physical connectivity, engaging in cultural diplomacy, and promoting cross-border trade. These efforts facilitate people-to-people relations, which hold the potential to address security and geostrategic challenges through a grassroots approach. This paper seeks to delve into the soft power dimensions of India’s Act East Policy, emphasising the unique position of Arunachal Pradesh and its distinct characteristics. This perspective offers an alternative lens through which to view the state, moving beyond the predominant security discourse in Indian policy circles. Additionally, it aligns with the elevated ASEAN-India diplomatic relationship, now designated as the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Author :
Sampa Kundu : 
Consultant, ASEAN-India Centre, Research and Information System for Developing Countries, New Delhi


Price: 101

Religious and Cultural Practices of the Tais of India and Myanmar

By: Ye Lon Buragohain

Page No : 81-90

Human beings are social by nature. The life of the people, their traditions, customs, language, culture, social life all bears testimony to the fact that they share common roots. Myanmar and India, sharing a border have witnessed the movement of people with regards to socio-economic factors since time immemorial. The hill ranges dividing Myanmar and Northeast India have not proved a deterrent to the flow of people and along with them their culture from either direction. Indian culture had seeped into Myanmar and vice versa. In this paper, an attempt to look into the religious and ethnic ties that exist between the peoples of Myanmar and India, with particular focus on the Shans of Myanmar and the Tais of Northeast India has been made.

Author :
Ye Lon Buragohain : Principal, Siddhartha Play & Learn 2, Kailash Bhawan, Kanaklata Saikia Path, Bhetapara, Guwahati, Assam


Price: 101

A Monk’s Travelogue: Sadanand Swami on India and Southeast Asia Relation; A Nationalist Exploration

By: Debarati Ganguly

Page No : 91-100

In the twentieth century, discussion about the relation between India and Southeast Asia and consequent Indian impact over the latter became an important part of the subject called ‘Greater India’. This thematic approach involved various genres of literary attributes which played an important role to highlight on India’s cultural influence in the Southeast Asian nations. Books and articles written by the famous Greater India scholars formed a significant part of this historiography. Along with this, travel narratives recorded by the individual travellers were also important source of relevant discussion as these documented authors’ own experiences. Among such travelogues, Sadanand Swami’s records demand attention. These reflect views of an Indian monk who did not have any direct connection with the institutional research of Greater India yet offered in-depth introspection of various aspects of Indian influence existed in the Southeast Asian regions. In this article, I have tried to give an idea how this undiscussed travel story can be used as a source of history regarding the relation between India and Southeast Asia.

Author :
Debarati Ganguly : 
Assistant Professor, Postgraduate Department of History, St. Xavier’s College (autonomous), Kolkata


Price: 101

Orality, Text and Identity in terms of Krishna Bhakti in Assam – Change and Continuity

By: Swaswati Borkataki

Page No : 101-106

Orality would imply passing on ideas, thoughts, practices and tales from a generation to another for at least more than one generation, as Jan Vansina writes in his classic, Oral Tradition as History. Societies across the world and especially in the north-eastern part of the Indian subcontinent have had a ‘rich’ tradition of orality, represented both in the social fabric through traditions like Ojapali which can be said to be a derivative of the Kathakata tradition practiced in Karnataka and other areas, as well as through texts like Keli Gopal or others written by Srimanta Sankardeva in the Assamese context being enacted as plays or popularised among the people through various audio-visual means, becoming very much an intrinsic part of the life and identity of the community. Sankardeva was influenced to a great extent by the Ojapali tradition, and introduced a practice known as the Sattriya Ojapali that represents a beautiful synthesis between orality and the ‘text’, also replete in the tradition of Ankiya Bhaona. The text here represents a symbol, rather than solely a literary tool of expression – a symbol encompassing ideas and thoughts in a larger paradigmatic realm.
Krishna Bhakti in Assam has a tradition of its own which is different and distinct from the other forms of worship in the religious sphere of the Assamese community. Significant is the various social implications, Krishna Bhakti holds in terms of being an intrinsic part of the socio-religious life of the community, portrayed vividly in oral traditions, tales and lore also subtly and sometimes directly extending to the political arena, as was seen in the Moamaria uprising which was led by a section of the descendants of the Vaishnava or Krishna Bhakti, who were followers of Gopal Deva or Gopal Ata. This and other dynamics led to far reaching consequences, ultimately however elevating Krishna worship as one of the most significant aspects of the society in the area which is otherwise regarded as a ‘Tantric hotbed’. This paper would look into the various aspects and the changing dynamics of Krishna Bhakti in Assam preached by Srimanta Sankardeva through orality, text and identity, all of them, being inextricably woven into a matrix of the very life and soul of the society.

Author :
Swaswati Borkataki : PhD Research Scholar, Special Centre for the Study of North East India Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi


Price: 101

Factors and Participation of Various Government Sectors that Determine the Success and Sustainability of the Participation in the Development of Tourism by the Bang - Lamphu community in Thailand

By: Doungrak Chantang , Khunyarin Chaijan

Page No : 107-119

This study examines the multifaceted aspects of community engagement in the context of creative tourism development, focusing on museums and local communities in the Bang Lamphu area. The research employs a mixed-method approach, incorporating indepth interviews with museum decision-makers and community leaders, as well as focus group discussions involving community representatives. Additionally, it explores the instrumental role of youth groups, particularly the ‘Gesorn Lum Poo Club,’ in facilitating community-based tourism activities. The findings of this study reveal several critical factors that influence community participation in creative tourism initiatives. These factors encompass a strong sense of local pride, a commitment to heritage preservation, and the catalytic involvement of government agencies, particularly the Department of Fine Arts. Moreover, the research unveils a rich tapestry of cultural assets within the community, such as traditional Thai music, crafts, and gold-smithing, all of which contribute to the area’s appeal as a cultural destination.
The study underscores the pivotal role of youth engagement in tourism development, exemplified by the ‘Gesorn Lum Poo Club’. This youth group emerged as a dynamic force in educating its members about local history and heritage, eventually leading to the establishment of Sanaebanglumphu Co. Ltd. The organisation successfully brought together youth from diverse backgrounds to actively participate in community-based tourism, acting as interpreters and facilitators for tourists. In summary, this research provides valuable insights into the intricate dynamics of community engagement in creative tourism development. It highlights the significance of cultural assets, government support, and youth involvement as key drivers in fostering sustainable and authentic cultural tourism experiences. These findings have broader implications for the promotion of community-based tourism and its benefits to both local communities and tourists seeking genuine cultural encounters.

Authors :

Doungrak Chantang : Researcher, Professional Level, Thai Khadi Research Institute, Thammasat University
Khunyarin Chaijan : Researcher, Senior Professional Level, Thai Khadi Research Institute, Thammasat University


Price: 101

A Study of the Patterns of ‘Poverty of Initial Conditions’ Suffered by Colonised Nations: Bangladesh’s Story

By: Bobby Hajjaj

Page No : 121-138

The production and perpetuation of the colonial empire have had lasting effects on the colonised. The state of most developing nations as they are today can be traced back to their colonial roots. In this paper, we present evidence showing that colonial empires were based on a relationship of extraction from the colonies. We also show the nature and means of that extraction in Bengal, now Bangladesh. The nature of that extractive relationship and its unintended consequences led to the development of certain types of institutions that created the poverty of initial conditions.

Author :
Bobby Hajjaj : 
Department of Management, North South University, Bashundara, Dhaka 1229, Bangladesh


Price: 101

Public Governance and Democracy in Ancient India: Understanding the Essence of Yogakshema in Abhijnanshakuntalam of Kalidasa

By: Sanjeev Kumar Sharma , Ansuiya Nain

Page No : 139-155

India is the largest democracy of the world. Academics have conducted serious research on the elements of social and political thinking in ancient India which lead to encourage more rigorous research in ancient Indian texts exploring democratic ideas. India is being considered as the Mother of Democracy by scholars based on extensive works on public policy formulation, taxation, statecraft, governance, welfare, administration, etc. This paper examines the sphere of public governance in ancient India with an emphasis on Yogakshema concept in works of Kalidasa.

Authors :
Sanjeev Kumar Sharma : 
Former Vice Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi Central University, Motihari (Bihar), General Secretary and Treasurer, Indian Political Science Association (IPSA), Professor of Political Science, Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut
Ansuiya Nain : Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, Central University of Kerala, Capital Centre, Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala


Price: 101

The Potential of Educational Tourism Products for International Students in Thailand from the Perspective of Thai Tourist

By: Khunyarin Chaijan , Sitthisak Moukomla

Page No : 157-168

This research provides the necessary information on tourist needs in the top ten tourist destinations for international students to travel in the future. The study driver focused on the motivation to travel, travel behaviour to achieve intermediate results in evaluating the potential attractiveness of tourism, the value of the tourist attraction, the potential for tourism development and management. The results show that Thailand’s educational tourism was also suitable for nature, tourism, historical tourism, and cultural tourism. International students were more likely to appreciate the museum, historic sites, festival/tradition, and the way of life of the community, arts, and cultural centre. Assessment of educational tourism potential also pointed out that Chiang Mai, Surat Thani, Mae Hong Son, and Phuket were the high potential destinations for educational tourism. Those provinces are rich in natural tourism resources and historical tourism, and cultural resources.


Authors :
Khunyarin Chaijan : 
Thai Khadi Research Institute, Thammasat University Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Sitthisak Moukomla : Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization), Bangkok 10210, Thailand



Price: 101

The Transformation of Neak Tà Belief of Khmer People in the Southern Vietnam (From Sacred Stones to Statues Worshiped, the Interaction between Brahmanism and Theravada Buddhism in the Khmer's Contemporary Culture)

By: Phan Anh Tú

Page No : 169-184

Neak Ta is a Khmer folk religion intimately linked to the natural environment, agricultural land, and habitation regions in Southern Vietnam. The Khmer have traditionally venerated Neak Ta using sacred stones discovered in the natural environment, according to long-established customs. However, the Neak Ta religion has seen significant modifications during the 1990s. The Khmer have constructed humanoid forms called Neak Ta out of these amorphous stones in an attempt to resurrect the ancient images of Brahminism. The article is based on the author’s fieldwork in the provinces of Tra Vinh and Binh Phuoc during 10th to 30th March, 2021. In this article, the author examined the transformation process of Neak Ta belief and analysed the origins and implications of the symbolic Neak Ta in contemporary Khmer social interactions.

Author :
Phan Anh Tú : 
Faculty of Cultural Studies, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University Hochiminh City



Price: 101

Dotara: Examining Cultural Migration across Time and Space

By: Utpola Borah , Hans F Utter

Page No : 185-205

Musical instruments are important repositories of heritage depending upon tangible materials, available in each environment, the instrument’s role in each culture, and the living/intangible traditions of cultural transmission. In Assam, the dotara is central to the Zikir songs of Sufi Saint Hazrat Shah Miran or Ajan Fakir, multiple regional folk genres, and Dehbisaror geet (philosophical/mystical songs) prevalent in upper and lower Assam. The prominence of the dotara throughout Central Asia and into the former Ottoman Empire and Andalusia indicates that this instrument was transported or shared along the ancient Silk Road. However, in terms of the instrument construction and playing techniques, the Kyrgis komuz or dumbora bears the most salient symmetry with the Assamese dotara, including tuning, use of the plectrum, and functions within its cultural milieu. Assam was important to Silk Road from ancient times (200-300 BCE) and most likely silk came to India from China. The Brahmaputra River served as the main artery between China and the west to India. Cultural interchange between Assam and China is strongly supported by Hiuen Tsang’s discussion of a Chinese song that became popular in Assam as early at 636 CE. Historical evidence for the dotara’s development will be examined, and comparisons between performance styles and organology. The role of the kingdoms of Assam as a bridge between India and China is not generally known, but potentially this will become a rich vein for future research.

Authors :
Utpola Borah : 
Ethnomusicologist, Cultural Archivist and Indian Classical Vocalist, Ohio, USA
Hans F Utter :  Ethnomusicologist, Cultural Archivist, Musician and Producer, Ohio, USA


Price: 101

Book Review
Thao, Paoze. 2023 (2nd edition), Mong Education at the Crossroads, USA: Hamilton Books

By: Soma Sahai-Srivastava

Page No : 207-208

Author :
Soma Sahai-Srivastava : 
Clinical Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurology Keck Medical Center of USC, Los Angeles

Price: 101

Instruction to the Author

The manuscript for publication should be submitted by Email to the Editor (Dr. Sachchidanand Sahai, Email: or through the online submission link of the journal (, written in English with British spelling with a cover letter addressed to the Editor.

Reference Style Guidelines

All references must be cited in the text or tables with author-years style. Examples for preparing the reference:

• Diamond, J. and P. Bellwood. 2003. Farmers and their languages: the first expansions. Science 300 (5619): 597-603

• Paddayya, K. 1990. Theoretical Perspectives in Indian Archaeology: A Historical Review, in Theory in Archaeology - A World Perspective, ed. P.J. Ucko, pp. 110-149. London: Routledge.

• Sahai, S. 2007. The Bayon of Angkor Thom. Bangkok: White Lotus.

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