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In Asia

"The river flows dully, makes no noise, blood in the body" notes in the first pages Marguerite Duras 's Lover, referring to Mekong. Oceans of paddy fields. Landscapes of honey and pale herbs crossed by silhouettes with conical hat.

The Silk Road follows in the footsteps of such legendary figures as Alexander the Great and Marco Polo. For centuries, merchants and adventurers journeyed to and from China on ancient routes through some of the most testing landscapes in the world trading silk, spices and perfumes.

In India contradictions abound. The struggle between the country’s ancient spiritualism and modern materialism, the friction between the majority community’s beliefs and those of the other great religions India nurtures, the battle for power between the central and state governments, such contradictions have tormented the country for decades.

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