The two religions co-existed as in India, though till the very end Hinduism continued predominant."In the veins of every one of my people flows the blood of Indian ancestors and the culture that we possess is steeped through and through with Indian influences.Two thousand years ago people from your country came to .
Arab writers such as Al Biruni testify that Indians called the whole Southeast region Suwarndib (Suvarnadvipa).
Hellenistic geographers knew the area as the Golden Ghersonese. During the last two thousand years, this region has come under the influence of practically all the major civilizations of the world: Indian, Chinese, Islamic, and Western.
Greater India: The expansion of Indian culture and influence both in Central Asia and the South East towards the countries and islands of the Pacific is one of the momentous factors of world history.
(image source: The historical background is the emigration of Brahmins, who brought the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and other works of Sanskrit literature.
He showed that no Prakrit words are found in Old Javanese and he deduced from this that the Indian immigrants must have come to Java at a time when the more recent Indian languages had not yet separated from Sanskrit."Looking at the cultures of the peoples of Asia in general and south east Asia in particular, the awareness grows upon us that what we see in Burma or Siam or Indonesia is but an extension of Indian culture they could be legitimately called a Greater India.
At the end of the fifth century the area of the Mekong valley, Malaya and the Indonesian islands were dotted with Hindu principalities some of which, like the kingdom of Funan, had attained considerable importance and prosperity. Hindu culture and organization had been established on a firm basis, and the local population at least the higher strata assimilated with the Indian emigrants and colonists.We then learnt to worship the very Gods that you now worship still and we fashioned a culture that even today is largely identical with your own.Later, we turned to Islam: but that religion too was brought by people coming from both sides of India."The vast extent of Indian cultural influences, from Central Asia in the North to tropical Indonesia in the South, and from the Borderlands of Persia to China and Japan, has shown that ancient India was a radiating center of a civilization, which by its religious thought, its art and literature, was destined to leave its deep mark on the races wholly diverse and scattered over the greater part of Asia." Indian art and culture seem naturally to have exercised an extraordinary art fascination over the indigenous peoples of all these territories, no doubt, owing to the attractions offered by Buddhism and Hinduism, while Chinese art, not bearing any particular religious message, apparently made but little impression inspite of the fact that they Chinese, too sailed the southern seas in search of trade from very early time.Only Since World War II has the term Southeast Asia been used to describe the area to the east of India and to the south of China, which includes the Indo-Chinese Peninsula, the Malay Archipelago and the Philippines, roughly forming a circle from Burma through Indonesia to Vietnam.Before the term Southeast Asia became common usage, the region was often described as Further or Greater India, and it was common to describe the Indonesian region or Malay Archipelago as the East Indies.The next five centuries witness a great flowering of Indian culture in these areas which properly belong to Indian history, because at least till the twelfth century, these people considered themselves as integrally belonging to the Indian world.