This chapter provides the basic facts on the four main countries of the Indian subcontinent. India is situated in southern Asia, between Bangladesh and Burma on the east and Pakistan on the west. English is commonly used in government and is spoken competently by about 10% of the population. The term 'Indo-Asian' refers to people who originated from the Indian subcontinent. The Indian subcontinent encompasses four main countries, namely Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. To understand the cultural background of Indo-Asian immigrants, a short introduction is essential. Pakistan is located in South East Asia and stretches from the Arabian Sea in the south to the mountain ranges in the north. The climate is generally dry and hot but in the north it is colder and rainfall is high. The Sinhalese came to the island in the 6th century BC, probably from northern India.