It may be that a people emerging from the shadows of history

and an aboriginal past adopt the first ‘high culture’ and language they come in contact with, as Thais with India and Sanskrit. Or maybe the last, as with Indonesia and Islam and Arabic, displacing the previous Indian and Sanskrit. Or perhaps a mixture works better, in the case of the Philippines’ Spanish Catholicism, but wide facility with the more recent English language influence. It’s probably no accident that Southeast Asia is the prime example for this phenomenon, given its long history of ‘cultural relativity’ and frequent position as a playing field for the great powers of China, India, Europe, and Arabia. Still they retained their native language in most cases, the notable exceptions being the far-flung and vastly outnumbered Polynesians in Hawaii and Easter Island. Southeast Asia and the South Pacific Islands are good examples of what I consider feminine cultures, ultimately flexible and looking to marry up, making up with makeup what they lack in logic.