Orient  

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“For any European during the nineteenth century – and I think one can say this almost without qualification – Orientalism was such a system of truths, truths in Nietzsche’s sense of the word. It is therefore correct that every European, in what he could say about the Orient, was consequently a racist, an imperialist, and almost totally ethnocentric.” -- Edward W. Said, Orientalism pp. 203-4


East–West dichotomy

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Orient is a historical term for the East, traditionally comprising anything that belongs to the Eastern world, in relation to Europe, the Occident. In English, it is largely a metonym for, and coterminous with, the continent of Asia, loosely classified into the Near East, Middle East and Far East: the geographical and ethno-cultural regions now known as West Asia, South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Originally, the term Orient was used to designate the Near East, and later its meaning evolved and expanded, designating also the Middle East or the Far East.

The term oriental is often used to describe objects from the Orient. However, given its Eurocentric connotations and shifting, inaccurate definition through the ages, it may be considered offensive as a label for people from East Asia.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Orient" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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