The Orient technically means anything east of Europe – basically, Asia. It comes from the Latin “oriens” which literally means “east.”

In the Western world, we have traditionally associated it with the Far East (again, relative to Europe) counties, such as Japan, China, and Southeast Asia.

Why I Looked It Up

In a book discussing Stalin, it referred to him several times as an “oriental,” which confused me. I had associated it with the Far East countries, whereas the book was using it to mean anyone from Asia.