With nearly half the U.S. population on Facebook, the social network’s omnipresence is almost passe. In Asia, however, the social network is still exploding, and with no end in sight.

Food has been a trending topic in travel circles for some time now. But though a good meal can tell a traveler much about the local culture, it's not often that food is thought of as a force for political change at home.

The first Experimental Media Art Festival in Taiwan (EXIT) will open in Taipei on Thursday featuring a wide range of avant-garde films from Asia and Canada that are rarely exhibited in museum galleries or screened in local film festivals.

Next Summer's Edinburgh International Festival will focus on the cultures of Asia and the influence of Eastern cultures on artists in the West. Announcing the Festival 2011 theme ‘To the Far West’ in Beijing today, Festival Director Jonathan Mills promised "a heady three weeks of exquisite artistic exploration which I hope will intoxicate audiences."

The passage of the Nalanda University Bill by Parliament is a firm indication that India is moving in the direction of unleashing its soft power on Asia and the world. This is reinforced by the efficient completion of the South Asian University project under SAARC and India's decision to open up its higher education sector to global inputs and competition.

Film lovers in the capital can next week look forward to four days of serious and quality cinema from across Asia thanks to “Imaging Asia”, a festival that will also showcase folk performances and art.

In fast-growing economies such as China and India, wealthy families can now afford to send their offspring to university but world-class institutions are too few. Whether students cannot find what they want at home or prefer what they see abroad, they are becoming more mobile.