South Asia

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

South Asia is a term applied to countries on the Indian subcontinent: the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, both created in 1947; the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, formed in 1971; the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal; and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon). India is a secular state with a Hindu majority; Pakistan and Bangladesh have largely Muslim populations; while the main religions in Nepal and Sri Lanka are Hinduism and Buddhism. See buddhism; hinduism; and islam.