SAIOS is an interdisciplinary research centre established to study the shared culture of countries surrounding the Indian Ocean, that for centuries past have been linked together by the monsoon winds. A particular focus will be on the history, society and economy of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) and their links to the rest of Southern and South-East Asia through trade and migration.
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The Centre for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies was established by the Senate of Sunway University in September 2020 to encourage and sustain the interdisciplinary study of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and their connections with and those between all of the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean. Malaysia’s cultural, social and economic connections to South Asia are strong and important, with a large portion of its population enjoying some form of South Asian ancestry. South Asia itself encompasses the most populous nations in the world and is home to the world’s oldest religions and civilisations (Hinduism and Buddhism). It also contains some of Asia’s most important emerging economies, the largest population of the world’s poor, and the largest population of devotees of Islam. These all make it an important focus of current research in the humanities and social sciences. The Centre aims to provide an academic nodal point for all those studying and working on South Asia and the cultures of the Indian Ocean region within Malaysia, those who wish to collaborate with SAIOS members, and for those in neighbouring countries otherwise unaffiliated to such a centre.