The term Eurasian refers to the cultural ties and linkages between those in a wider view of the Eurasian continent, centering on the Silk Road, and Central Asia as the "nursery" of human civilization, from which all other cultures draw a common influence.
However in English vernacular, "Eurasian" is a term that refers to those of mixed European and Asian (or ancestry —increasingly by mixed parentage as a fact of modern transculturation. More precise descriptions may include Nordic/Baltic/Slavic/Celtic linkages with people of Chinese/Indian/Afghani/Turkic/Mongolian (etc) heritage.
In Southeast Asia, most have European names, often British, Portuguese or Dutch, and are Christians. The oldest Eurasian community in the region is in Malacca, in Malaysia dating from when the town was a Portuguese settlement, and many also moved to Singapore. There were also Eurasians in the Netherlands East Indies, but following Indonesian independence, most emigrated to the Netherlands, where there is an annual Eurasian festival called Pasar Malam Besar (literally 'big evening market' in Indonesian), the largest of its kind in the world. There are also Vietnamese with French blood.
In India, the term Anglo-Indian is used, although this may not only also apply to people with British ancestry, but also Portuguese or Dutch. While ostracised by Indians during the British Raj, Anglo-Indians enjoy the same rights as other Indian citizens, and there are still seats reserved in parliament for them. Many have emigrated to the UK or Australia. In the UK, well-known Anglo-Indians include singers Cliff Richard and Engelbert Humperdinck, though the latter later moved to the United States, while TV personality Melanie Sykes has an Anglo-Indian mother.
The term Eurasian is also sometimes used to describe the racial strain of the peoples of the nations of Central Asia, half way between the centres of Caucasoid (Europe, North Africa and Southwest Asia) and Mongoloid (East Asia, Southeast Asia and North Asia) populations.
Genetically, the Eurasiatic supercluster of mankind is composed of two large clusters of populations, often referred to as "Caucasoids" (Europeans, North Africans, West Asians, Central Asians and South Asians) and "Mongoloids" (North Asians, East Asians, Pacific Islanders and New World inhabitants). Caucasoids, or Western Eurasians, can be divided into European and extra-European subgroups. Mongoloids, or Eastern Eurasians, can be divided into Northern Mongoloids and Southern Mongoloids, and Northern Mongoloids can be broken down into the Old World division and New World division, while Southern Mongoloids can be broken down into the Old World division and the Pacific Islander division.
The Eurasian supercluster is one of four major genetic divisions of humanity, including the Capoids (the Khoi and San populations), the Negroids (Saharan Africans, East Africans, West Africans and Southern Africans), and the Australoids (also called the Southern Eurasian supercluster and including indigenous Southern Indians, Sri Lankans and Southeast Asians, as well as New Guineans, Micronesians, Melanesians and Australian Aborigines), in addition to the aforementioned Eurasians (or Northern Eurasian supercluster). One theory holds that there were two major migrations of modern humans out of Africa, the first occurring less than 100,000 years B.P. via a southern route crossing the mouth of the Red Sea and eventually settling in Southern India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, New Guinea and Australia. The second, occurring about 50,000 years B.P., populated the rest of the non-African world (sans Antarctica) via a northern route through modern day Egypt.
A second theory, proposed by author and human migrations specialist Stephen Oppenheimer of Oxford University, contends that there was only one exodus from Africa, occurring perhaps as recently as 50,000 years B.P., and that all non-Africans (including North Africans) are descended from this one group of perhaps a few dozen to a few hundred people. This population later split into a northern group (proto-Eurasians) and a southern group (proto-Australoids). Among Eurasians, the Western branch has received varying degrees of gene flow from sub-Saharan Africa and pre-Caucasoid peoples from South Asia, and the Eastern branch has mixed with the Negritos of Southeast Asia. Western and Eastern Eurasians have also interbred since splitting apart and becoming (relatively) distinct Eurasian subgroups, especially in Central Asia. Post-Columbian colonizations have brought further mixings of these various populations in Africa, Oceania (including Australia) and the Americas.