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EAST AND WEST, WHERE IS THE
If it is by
color of skin we should note that the northern Chinese have a white skin color like the
Europeans. If it is by language, we must note that most of the languages of India
and Iran are of the same Indo-European family as those of Europe, whereas those of
Near East are of different families like the Semitic. By the logic of language India would
belong to the West and Saudi Arabia to the East.
If it is by religion, there are a number of Christians and Muslims in Southeast
Asia. Are they Easterners or Westerners? Muslims share the same general Biblical religious
background as the Christians.
Are they therefore Westerners? Would we therefore call
Cairo in Egypt a Western city? And what of the many Americans and Europeans who are
embracing Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist practices? Are they thereby ceasing to be Westerners?