Due to the perceived cultural differences between Asia and Europe by Europeans, it was traditional to consider the two to be separate continents. This distinction then spread to the rest of the world. Obviously, the idea of "Asia" as a single cultural group is not shared by "Asians". Asia contains a number of distinct major cultural, religious, racial and/or geographical groups, Indian, Arab, as well as East Asians and Southeast Asian among others. In British English, "Asian" often refers to people from the Indian Subcontinent. This is in contrast to American English, where "Asian" tends to refer to East and South East Asians. This can easily be explained by the fact that India and the subcontinent in general was historicaly the most important part of Asia from a modern British perspective, and that most migrants from Asia to the UK come from there, where as in the US, most Asian migrants traditionaly tended to come from the Pacific-rim countries, thus the contrasting imageries of the "Asian" in the cultural imagination of both countries.
Alternatively, some historians perceive much of Southern Europe, South Asia and West Asia as historically closer to each other than to their northern counterparts, creating a vague South Eurasia. Northern Europe and parts of Northern Asia create another vaguely similar cultural and geographic sphere known as North Eurasia.
The term Eurasia is also sometimes used to refer to the newly independent former Soviet states in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
The earth sciences, with a more precise definition of continent, more frequently consider Eurasia to be a continent in and of itself.
Eurasia was also a fictional country comprising approximately the same land area in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, excluding the British Isles (controlled by Oceania) and Eastasia, which was formed when China conquered the territory to its south, and presumably Japan as well. India was a contested border zone between the three superstates.
- Laurasia, a theoretical supercontinent joining Eurasia and North America.
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