East Indies

East Indies in Asia

History of East Indies

The following concept of East Indies may be usefull here: A general geographical description that frequently encompassed South Asia, the lands of Malaysia, and the islands of the Indian Ocean. In the context of this exhibition, it is often used in this sense. In Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor (c. 1598-1601), Falstaff says of Mistress Page and Mistress Ford ‘They shall be exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to them both.’ Today, the term is commonly used to refer to the Malay archipelago. The Dutch colony known as the Netherlands East Indies became Indonesia in the 20th century.

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