Geography greatly impacts diversity in Southeast Asia. On a scale from 1-10, on factors that impact diversity in Southeast Asia, geography is a strong 7. Geography is the main reason for how such a small region could be so diverse.
Geographical traits such as many islands, mountains and forests separate many cultures and preserve them. For a specific example of how geography has made diverse cultures within a small area, look at the differences between Rural and Urban areas in Thailand.
Thailand is home to many mountains and valleys. In the mountains rural small tribes have
resided for many years, and their culture hasn’t changed much. Unlike the rural areas, in urban cities culture has changed to a more westernized city scape. These cultures have been able to progress like this because the mountainous villages are isolated and scattered from the rest of the country by geographical traits causing, many cultures to remain relatively untouched over the years.
Another impact that geography has caused on diversity, is the many fringe variations of Islam in the area. Throughout Southeast Asia Islam has flourished. But the geographical isolation of so many different villages, towns, and islands, have caused Islam to morph into the pre-existing religion of the area. Many different sects and variations on the religion have come out of this region.
A third aspect of culture that geography has played a role in preserving is the Kayan tradition of neck stretching. If culture in this area was easily changed, this practice would have been turned into a taboo. Other practices in the region have been preserved too. Practices such as tooth chiseling and ear gauging are still prevalent.Since these tribes are isolated by the geographical traits surrounding them, this practice hasn’t been changed by outside cultures for years, and still goes on today.