The Culture of South Asia is the artificial aggregate of the cultural heritage of many nationalities, societies, religions, and ethnic groups in the region, traditionally called a sub-continent from a Western-centric perspective of Asia. Both geographically and culturally, this part of the world has had a great sense of unity and common history for its cultures and peoples. Therefore, South Asia can also be called a distinct continent in itself.
The nations of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka share an ethnic background and all have similar cultures. This is largely due to the fact that before the 1947 partition, India included both Pakistan and Bangladesh in its borders and long back into history the region has been under one ruler or the other at different points of time. The Indus Valley Civilization began on the Indus River (now in Pakistan). In time, however, Aryans settled down in the Indian subcontinent from the north. The Aryans also invaded the island of Sri Lanka and set up the Kingdom of Sinhala. The people eventually mingled to form a common culture.
South Asian art, music and cuisine, as well as literature are important parts of the larger Asian culture. Eastern philosophy and religion also plays a major role with Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity all playing major roles. One of the most complex parts of Asian culture is the relationship between traditional cultures and the Western world.
Another common feature of these states is the fact that all these countries maintain interests in the same world sports too. India and Pakistan were both strong in Field Hockey while Cricket is by far the most popular sport in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.