Although every member-city of the Aethodian Fœderation has a culture of its own, there is an engineered "high" culture of sorts meant to serve as a neutral and inspiring source whence the member-cities can draw, and which is taught in schools and used in national ceremony. This article details just that: High Aethodian culture.
- This article was current as of 2022, July.
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Aethodia has its own brick-bond. It is unique in that it uses only one size of brick (3:1:1) throughout, and in that its pattern can be repeated infinitely. It is coincidentally similar to the Flemish bond, but was developed independently in 2014.
Stores typically offer public restrooms. These restrooms are conventionally unisex.
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Toilets are generally western-style and equipped with bidets.
Chairs typically have triangular seats, in order to facilitate a more-ergonomic style of sitting.
Interior doors typically have a grate at the bottom, to facilitate airflow between rooms.
Traditional Aethodian clothing is divided into two 'cold' and 'warm' weather versions, the former for use in Aethodia's Greenlandic colony (an arctic climate), and the latter for use in Aethodia's Urheimat, Neapolita (a tropical climate). Each outfit was respectively designed to be capable of keeping Aethodians either warm in the tundra or cool in the tropics, while remaining comfortable, relatively simple, unique, minimally interferent with movement, and practical for day-to-day wear. The tropical version was derived from the arctic one.
Men and women wear the same general kinds of clothes, albeit with different cuts, and sometimes different adornments.
The most-defining maxims of Aethodian clothing, are  that the arms and legs should be clad similarly;  that belts belong at the torso's narrowest point; and  that the chest, crotch, rear, and (typically) armpits not be exposed.
The implication of point #1 is that, should one wear socks on their feet, they should wear matching gloves on their hands; likewise, should one have short sleeves on their shoulders, they should also have short pant legs.
The reason for point #2, is that belts placed not at the narrow have a much greater tendency to dislodge. The implication of point #2 is that pants are all very high-waisted, while shirts are blouses.
The reasons for point #3, are:  covering the rear is a matter of hygiene in public places, and covering the crotch is likewise so;  covering these and the armpits helps prevent the escape of unpleasant odors;  covering the chest conceals undergarments on any who need them.
- Notes on terminology
Although blouses are the norm in Aethodia, the general term "shirt" is used in this article.
It is uncommon to wear a skirt, but it is not uncommon to wear pants that that look like skirts; these may be called "skirts" out of convenience.
It is common to wear a cloth sash instead of a hide belt. For the sake of convenience, the term "belt" will be used in this article.
- Climatic variations
In the warm-weather version, socks/gloves are typically short or non-existent, the shoes worn are typically sandals (huaraches, specifically), shirts/pants are short-sleeved (sometimes to the point of not having sleeves at all), and hats are generally wide-brimmed (and occasionally conical). Seersucker is the dominant fabric used for warm-weather clothes.
In the cold-weather version, socks/gloves are typically knee/elbow-high, shoes are boots -- oftentimes tall, shirts/pants are long-sleeved, and a warm hood is worn around the neck (and when necessary, raised over the head). Knits are the dominant fabrics used in cold-weather clothes. Sleeves on shirts/pants may be tucked into gloves/socks, for better insulation. Shirts may extend past their belt-loops (and thereby be tucked), in order to give a better seal.
Garments themselves are typically made of solid colors -- not patterns. Nevertheless, patterns are not unheard of.
The edges of these garments are very commonly trimmed with some differing color, and cloth sashes are typically colored to match. This is a practice originally derived from the trim on garments in old-school RuneScape, and dates back to Clan Saph, a hierarchical organization with its own bylaws, currency, and land-claims, founded by Swena some 3-4 years ahead of Theodia. Many of Theodia's first citizens came from that clan.
More-elaborate garments may have trim throughout, in various interesting designs.
Shoes are typically laced with a material that matches the color of the shoes themselves; but some elaborate garments may use lacing that matches the trim used in the rest of the garment. Hide belts should match the shoes.
- Additional features
It is typical for pants and skirts to possess, at a minimum, two pockets (in the front) -- oftentimes more. It is not uncommon to find a pocket over each breast in shirts. These pockets are typically trimmed, just like the other edges of garments.
It is not uncommon for people to hang things from their belts. Pouches are the most common such accessories. As a result of this, standalone purses are somewhat of a rarity. Cloth pouches are expected to match the shirt, pants, or trim in color; and hide pouches are expected to match the shoes in color.
As well: both pants and shirts have belt-loops, with shirt belt-loops hanging down from single points, and pant belt-loops being flush with their backing. This allows the shirt and the pants to unite into a single garment, and eliminates concerns around shirts becoming untucked.
Shirts are typically button-ups. This facilitates equipping items made from inelastic fabrics, as well as the act of breast-feeding.
Pants are typically zip-ups. This facilitates equipping items made from inelastic fabrics, as well as male urination.
Shoes are typically laced.
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Aethodia's traditional cuisine is two meals a day: brunch and supper, with the former consisting of porridge (local grains, a carrier fluid (often water), local nuts, local fruits, and some sort of sweetener); and the latter consisting of local grains, local vegetables, whatever meat can be scrounged up (typically small fish, like sardines), and local spices & seasonings. Pride is typically taken in processing foods prior to cooking, with this seen as a sign of civilization. So, while poorer people may eat their grains and fruits directly, those of greater means have the former turned into bread or pasta, and the latter into jellies. These are just examples, of course; and there are many other ways in which this occurs. Those with greater means also often consume a snack between brunch and dinner, with this typically consisting of items that are easy to transport, such as trail mixes and wraps. This traditional cuisine is simple and easy to prepare, and provides a full range of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals; while having a high fullness factor.
However, with most Aethodians living in industrialized, globalized contexts, foreign cuisines are often much more popular than the native cuisine, with several of the most widespread being Southern-American, Tex-Mex, and Thai.
Aethodians typically consume a caffeinated beverage (usually matcha or coffee) in the morning, a cocanated one in the afternoon (typically either straight coca tea, or some mixture of that and some other tea), and small beer in the evening. It is customary to sweeten and add cream to the matcha/coffee; but the tea is typically taken straight, with fragrance being more important for it than flavor. Aethodians living in macronations where coca is illegal instead substitute with another variety of hot tea, most commonly green. The small beer is often mixed with various fruit drinks.
The caffeine in the morning helps wake people up; the coca in the afternoon helps avoid afternoon sleepies, and the small beer in the evening helps people unwind after a hard day's work. With this norm of afternoon tea-drinking, it goes without saying that Aethodians do not generally partake in siesta. Although all of these beverages are psychoactive in some way, taking any substance to the point of intoxication is looked-down upon, and seen as an indicator of weak character and poor self-control; and public intoxication of any sort is lightly criminalized.
Even children consume these beverages, though in smaller amounts than adults. Wealthier Aethodians typically tailor their drink to match their meal, and sometimes diverge dramatically from Aethodia's typical setup. Matcha is generally preferred over coffee, as it has a comparable caffeine content while being quicker & easier to prepare, less jittery, and more-sustainable to source (being that something akin to matcha can be made from the leaves of several varieties of plants, growable in far more areas than coffee).
The drinks typically have a temperature opposite to that of the place in which they are drunk. In temperate zones, the cooler mornings and evenings correspond to hot matcha/coffee and hot beer, with a cold tea during the middle of the day. In colder areas (or in places without clean water) it is not unusual to drink all three hot; and in warmer areas, it is not unusual to drink all three cold.
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There is, as yet, no established traditional style of Aethodian music.
Information regarding the technical conventions of Aethodian folk music can be found here.
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The de jure national sport of the Republic of Aethodia is battlegaming, or LARPing, and is widely popular throughout the country. The official ruleset in Aethodia is FiodiLARP, which is currently under development. Its goal is to emulate realistic combat in a safe manner.
Association football is also quite popular, as is archery.
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The past is considered "behind" and the future is considered "ahead", since we typically move forward, and it seemingly makes sense to describe the arrow of time similarly. This is in contrast to cultures that describe time as left-to-right, up-to-down, or east-to-west. This metaphor is not perfect, however, as people who are ahead in a line get to the end of the line before people who are behind in that line; and of course you can see things ahead of you and you can "see" far into the past, while you cannot see behind you or very far into the future.
The holidays practiced in Aethodia depend on the calendar used.
In the Earthling calendar, used across most of Aethodia, there are every year 4 primary holidays (located at the solstices and equinoxes) and 4 secondary holidays (located at the midpoints between the primary holidays). Tertiary holidays exist as well; but they are scattered about and are minor observances. Cantons have their own takes on these standard holidays, and some offer additional ones.
The Default calendar observes two major holidays -- one in the middle of the year, and one at the end. There are also two secondary holidays, each located midway between the major holidays. Due to the much shorter duration of a year in the Default calendar, this is actually more total holidays than the Earthling calendar; although it is also less variety.
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Religion, in Aethodia, is generally considered to be another word for a collection of philosophies and political structures; and practice and study of belief is generally viewed through this lens. The government is firmly dedicated to belief pluralism, and advocates liberal religion, using Unitarian Universalism as a means by which to achieve this, having declared it as the state religion. To a certain extent, the religious policy might be considered to be "pluralism through moralism", with "moralism", in this case, meaning the enforcement of dogma (or its lack).
In accordance with this, groups may not be exclusive on the basis of belief. This, of course, has no bearing on freedom of association; and since this lack of restriction can still allow spontaneous self-segregation that can lead to factionalism, Aethodia has also opted to open communal-style temples (called "pantheons) in large-enough numbers that everyone living in an incorporated community may attend one, as such prominent institutions will have a certain draw; and with such freedom and openness of belief, there wouldn't seem to be much of a reason to create a private, more-focused temple, unless it is specifically exclusive or introduces foreign political structures. In each pantheon, priests of all persuasions may schedule time to preach and teach, so long as they generally conform to Unitarian Universalism's seven principles; and there are open-hours where people may offer the music of their faith to any who would listen. Books and materials of a great many religions are also present at each pantheon, as well as rooms to discuss philosophy, spirituality, theology with others. This is in-line with the state's policy of interculturalism, as such open dialogue and frequent meeting will hopefully help foster mutual respect among groups who would otherwise have been siloed off, thus calming many potential tensions, oftentimes before they can even start. In order to accomplish this community temple goal, many existing temples and community centers in newly-incorporated areas are requisitioned at the time of incorporation. Additionally, Aethodian education includes a segment wherein students are introduced to philosophy, as well as the beliefs of a great many religions.
However, there are times where the allowance of an exclusionary worship practice is required for certain Aethodians to feel spiritually sated, such as communion with the Catholic Church: such communion cannot be given without sanction by the Catholic Church, and without it, practitioners believe themselves damned to Hell; however, at the same time, practitioners also believe non-Catholics to be damned to Hell, and this creates a concerning opportunity for convertive peer pressure ("convert, or you're going to Hell") that can lead to great tension between different groups. Allowances of such exclusionary practices must be explicitly given by the Aethodian government; and once allowed, exclusionary practices must take place quietly and expediently, and not as part of a main religious service at a pantheon, and non-practitioners must still be allowed to attend and watch if they wish to do so.
Race & ethnicity
Race, in the physical sense, is, in Aethodia, seen as a zoological equivalent to botanical variety. So, people with greatly different genetic lineages differ from each other only as much as a Granny Smith differs from a Golden Delicious, and that, while one may have preferences between the varieties, they are all ultimately the same thing. Because of this, the society doesn't consider one's race to be of much note, and the government doesn't collect racial data on censuses (This latter bit is also partly because of Aethodia's policy of mandatory DNA sequencing at birth; the results are pinned to a person's government ID, so it would be redundant and pointless to ask citizens for an arbitrary racial label.).
Ethnicity, on the other hand, is considered in applications for citizenship, but only on these; once a citizen, people, by definition, help define what it is to be "Aethodian", and so are considered to be of Aethodian ethnicity.
From near its founding until early 2022, Aethodia paid no heed to any concept of gender roles, with the idea being that pigeonholing anyone purely on the basis of birth is aristocratic and antithetical to a society desiring equality of opportunity. This has since shifted, as sex is not a matter of birth in the same way that lineage is; but rather, a continuous physical reality that distinguishes individuals for the entirety of their lives. Aethodia is a country founded on radical centrism that tries to always stay grounded in empirical reality, even if it means sacrificing certain ideals; in this case: equity between the sexes. The current opinion among Aethodia's elites is that giving everyone the same education and expectations regardless of physical reality disadvantages both the individual and society at large. Accordingly, Aethodia now divides the concept of "gender" into three parts: track (role), gender (secondary sex characteristics, hormonality, and presentation), and sex (primary sex characteristics and genetics); with gender being the primary way in which its people differentiate each other at a personal level, as it is the most visible. There is no recognition of "identity" as a basis for sex or gender, but one is allowed to arbitrarily change their track should they so wish, assuming they can meet that track's requirements; and likewise, adults can undergo hormone treatments and surgeries to change their gender (Sex is considered to be set during puberty, and Aethodians are not allowed to gender-transition before adulthood; so in practice, sex is immutable.). In any case, ever since this shift, the government has collected track, gender, and sex in census data; previously, this was avoided, in order to stay as gender-neutral as possible.
Aethodia's two tracks are "escapadic" (the default for men) and "sociodomestic" (the default for women). People are allowed to choose the other regardless of sex or gender, but in the absence of preference, they are matched with the track that fits their biology; the idea being that preparing both sexes for the world in exactly the same way actually disadvantages them later in life. The sociodomestic track prioritizes preparation for  remote work and homemaking (as this type of work is the most supportive of pregnancy and childcare),  careers that don't depend on physical strength (as women are considerably weaker than men), and  careers that are people-oriented (as women tend strongly to prefer these over thing-focus careers); while the escapadic track prioritizes the opposite:  on-site work,  physical strength, and  things over people. Although they are different, both tracks are mostly coëd with each other, and seek to give a well-rounded education, allowing anyone to operate in any role if they wish/must. Although this means men will be incensed towards blue-collar jobs and women towards the soft sciences, the country's college funding program levels supply across all industries in a way that should level pay across almost all skilled occupations, thus avoiding any particularly one-sided power dynamics between the tracks.
These same tracks apply in conscription, with women by default being placed into support roles (They can, of course, switch into the escapadic track, assuming they can meet the same requirements as men.). This is due not to sexism, but rather to the fact that most women are unable to meet the grueling physical demands of combat. Additionally, a society which has lost most of its men in combat can recover its previous population far more easily than a society which has lost most of its women. It is expected that, as technology improves, exoskeletons and artificial sperm/eggs + external pregnancy pods will allow for a total elimination of preference between the two sexes in the martial domain; but until then, biological facts reign supreme.
While Aethodia acknowledges the physical differences between the sexes, it still wishes to aim for gender equality wherever reasonable. One way in which it does so, is by removing all but the bare minimum of gendered language, and this goes for Aethodian language and Aethodian English, both. Languages with inflected grammatical gender force people to think about gender where it is not relevant; and removing it helps languages better-adhere to the UNIX philosophy of "do one thing, and do it well", by not mixing domains without cause. In practice, this means only words with a direct necessity to specify track/gender/sex have it; and all others, such as pronouns, are totally epicene. Generally, in Aethodian, words referring to gender use roots related to estrogen or testosterone, while words related to sex use roots related to genitalia. Secondary sex characteristics are considered the main determiner of gender, rather than primary sex characteristics; and terms indicating sexuality are also divided between hormonality (estrophilia/testophilia) and genitalia (yoniphilia, phalliphilia), while paying no heed to the characteristics of the referent (This means there are no direct equivalents to terms like "gay" and "lesbian".).
Sartory depends primarily on profession, rather than gender/sex; and uniforms are typically either identical for all, or per-track. Nevertheless, people in their off-hours often choose of their own volition to don clothing that accentuates the features of their gender, most-often to attract a mate. Generally, businesses and the like are discouraged from dressing employees in this way, as the government wants to prevent social pressures from forming a strong sense of gender role, in order to allow all citizens the most freedom in their own self-determination.
Traditionally, Aethodians process succession agnatically for males, and enatically for females. This means women inherit their mother's surname; men inherit their father's; and in divorce, the father takes the sons and the mother takes the daughters. Because of this dual-inheritance structure, families are by default registered as a hyphenated combination of the father and mother's surnames, with each family having the choice of whose surname to list first; however, such hyphenated names are not mandatory, and family names can be just about anything. This family name is actually technically different from the surnames of its governing members, and the father and mother accordingly do not change their personal surnames when creating or joining a family -- more about how families are structured in Aethodia can be found in the "Family" section below.
This system also allows for male-male and female-female families, without additional provisions -- even when male-male and female-female babies become possible and widespread. Three-parent babies, though -- where the mtDNA comes from a third party -- do need a special clarification to the rules, and that clarification is that the female surname is passed strictly per mtDNA -- meaning such children's surnames would come from the third party, rather than their mother.
Children acquired through adoption rather than birth retain their birth surname, and belong to the legal adopter, regardless of their sex. Men may adopt girls, and women may adopt boys.
Bastardy is non-existent, as DNA tests are required at birth for all Aethodians.
Property also (mostly) follows this dual-inheritance structure, unless stated otherwise in a will; this means that property is passed enatically for women and agnatically for men. In both cases, equal partition is the default. The oldest living son and the youngest living daughter are considered the main continuation of their same-sex parent's line, with the caveats that  children who share that parent's surname have precedence over those who do not, and  biological children have precedence over adopted ones. Sometimes, however, succession is in some way cognatic -- this is most-common in a situation involving cross-sex adoption or gender transition. All children "owned" by a parent at either the parent's death or the child's emancipation are valid targets of succession in will-less inheritance.
This preference for ultimogeniture for women is derived from the reality that a woman's ability to reproduce stops roughly 20-40 years before her natural death; meaning that her youngest daughter is almost always an adult at the time of inheritance. This younger age for her primary heiress means longer reigns and fewer total successions in her main line, without the downside of male ultimogeniture (which is the likelihood of passing the mantle to a child); it also means a woman can more-or-less choose her primary heiress by her level of chastity: if she has a good heiress, she can simply stop having children; and if she does not, then she can try to make another (assuming she is not yet post-menopausal). Of course, in Aethodia, these considerations are mostly moot, being that the country has no nobility or heritable titles; nevertheless, the title of "primary heir(ess)" is a real legal title, and it does have some [limited] legal meaning.
The use of equal partition among heirs has an air of fairness that unequal partitions do not; and helps to avoid concentration of wealth over generations (which can eventually lead to dramatic imbalances of power in society at large). This equal partition applies equally to all currently or finally owned children, regardless of the time that they were owned by their parent. Heirs are equally responsible for paying for their parent's funeral (if the parent did not do so, themselves) and the cost of administering the succession.
Of course, the above text merely states the defaults -- everyone has the power to design their own fully custom succession by writing a will.
In order to address the unique challenges raised by the deconstructionist antics of a postindustrial society, Aethodia has reformed its legal structure for families to operate under an assumption of polyamory. The family is a special kind of legal corporation, formed at-will by the union of two or more people. Each family has its own chosen name (often of the hyphenated sort described in the "Lineage" subsection above). Individuals may belong to multiple families at the same time. The aforementioned dual-inheritance structure lends itself well to this purpose, as custody is typically very clear-cut. A result of this system, is that it is not uncommon for girls to have multiple dads (or for boys to have multiple moms) throughout their childhood, as their parents move from relationship to relationship. These previous foster parents and families serve as an extended support network for Aethodians.
There is no requirement of alimony -- men keep the boys, women keep the girls; and both move on to the next relationship. However, although custody is clear-cut, lack of custody does not mean lack of parental rights -- a parent has the right to visit and interact with their biological offspring, so long as they do not waive that right, and so long as that right is not waived for them by a court.
This system, for the most part, does not immediately consider intersex people; however, they mostly fit into it fine as adults, as they are either too infertile to have biological children (without further medical advancement), or *are* sufficiently fertile, and therefore capable of functioning as the biological mother or father. For intersex children, this is less clear-cut; but generally: Y-bearing children always receive the father's surname, and which parent keeps which child is on a case-by-case basis. Some syndromes, such as Turner's and CADS, go universally to the mother; others go universally to the father; and a handful are ad-hoc. Transpeople can be handled akin to intersex people as adults, and (usually) as cispeople when children.
Sometimes, due both to intersex conditions and modern medical technology, a person's gender (using the Aethodian definition) may not correspond to their sex in the way that is usual. While surname inheritance is always strictly per genetics (with Y-chromosome-bearers receiving their father's surname, and others receiving their mother's), parental ownership is somewhat mutable. The goal is generally to pair like-gender with like-gender, as gender is more impactful for social development than sex. As such, each family unit is allowed to invert who gets which sex of child; but it is always still clear that one parent gets one sex, and the other gets the other. In addition to inverting polarity, parents may also "trade" one child for another child, or gift a child; but all of this may only occur within a shared familial corporation with the consent of both parties plus the child(ren).
All children have one single owner. Typically this is their same-sex parent; but it can also of course be their other parent, their adopter, or even the state itself. Children are emancipated from such ownership upon reaching adulthood. Children conceived through rape belong to the victim, unless the victim wishes to give ownership to the perpetrator.
The norm in Aethodia is for all children to move out of their parents' houses and start their own families, once they come of age. While this model has many advantages over others, a key point is that the main alternatives to this model do not work well with a society in which divorce is normal and casual. Regardless, some advantages of this model include:  equality of opportunity for all children (Other models dramatically benefit the primary heir(ess) to the detriment of the other heir(ess)es.);  the necessity of work ethic to one's survival and prosperity when a young adult (with this improving the calibre of people in the society in general, relative to one child being able to stay at home and live on their parents' wealth);  a liberating "empty-nester" period for the parents;  the ability for children to set out on their own and make their own decisions and have their own thoughts, free from familial pressures and dysfunctions; among other benefits. There are of course also downsides: more housing is needed than with some other models, and the primary heir(ess) and their parent also have to move more than in other models.
Agèd parents who are no longer capable of living on their own either move in with their primary heir(ess), another once-owned child, or a nursing home. All once-owned children must split the cost of supporting their incapable parents, in proportion to the length of time that they were owned by said parents. Such child support is the pension system in Aethodia, and it is how children repay their parents for raising them.
Sexuality & nudity
Aethodians are quite free sexually, but there are of course some notable restrictions. Child sexual relations are not allowed (except as provided-for in the "half your age plus seven" formula), nor is non-consensual sex (rape). Public sexual exhibition is likewise restricted. Infidelity is mostly not a concept in Aethodia, in large part because all births coincide with a DNA test, so parentage is never in doubt. As is expected for a society without a concept of infidelity, open relationships are considered the norm.
Incest is perhaps less-stigmatized than it is elsewhere, if only because it is not always apparent that two people are closely related, thanks to the somewhat anomous familial structure and the fact that brothers and sisters have different surnames; and also because the incest that is obvious, is almost always male-male or female-female, and therefore unable to produce children. For the government, the only concerns with incest are  genetic, as it weakens the seed; and  economic, as it can lead to an over-accumulation of wealth within one family. There are no official advisories against unfruitful incest, but citizens may be fined if they are found to have conceived and given birth to a child of 1st-degree incest if that child has any genetic abnormalities. Citizens seeking an incestual child are advised to either  seek genetic engineering in order to avoid the risks of incest or  get a genetic evaluation during the abortion-legal period and abort if the fetus is sufficiently defected. These same restrictions apply to other people at high risk of passing on certain genetic disorders, like dwarfism.
Nudity is restricted outside of certain specific contexts. Nipples, for example, are generally covered in public unless at the beach / changing / breastfeeding / etc; and this is true for all Aethodians -- not just ones with breasts. Butt-cheeks are similarly restricted, just without the breastfeeding exception. Genitalia is covered in all non-private contexts. Breastfeeding, while an exception to the nipple covering norm, is only considered acceptable in places where eating is acceptable -- so, at a table or park bench, and not while chopping wood or presenting the news.
Abortion is allowed so long as the fetus is unable to live outside the mother. If the fetus poses a life-or-death risk to the mother, abortion past that point may be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
Abortion is not allowed without the owner's consent; in practice, this means that (in most circumstances), mothers can abort daughters at-will, while for sons the father's approval is needed. Since rape forfeits ownership to the victim, a woman who is carrying a boy conceived from a man raping her would not need the father's approval to abort; likewise, a woman who is carrying a girl conceived from her raping a man would need the father's approval to abort. In addition to this, rape is a special case wherein the victim can legally compel the perpetrator to have an abortion, so long as abortion would otherwise be allowed.
While the kinship system espoused above does seem to solve several problems, there are also several it does not:  the problems of single parenthood,  rates of STD transmission,  incest as a way of consolidating family power,  (to a lesser extent) unequitable distribution of women, and [?] more than likely others. These have to be addressed either through systemic change to the system above, or through separate policy.
For the first issue, a number of policy options are being considered, including a loyalty program, mandatory counselling on separation, and more; but these all have their own caveats. The goal is to prevent single parenthood as much as possible, as it is known to be significantly damaging to children; but also to do so in a way that does not seriously impact individual liberty.
The second issue can likely be satisfactorily addressed with a combination of education, contraception, and medical advancement.
The third issue is partially addressed by Aethodia's demurrage and inheritance taxes.
The fourth issue is around the fact that polygamy results in a sizeable number of men for whom there are no brides, which is believed to pose a risk to societal stability. The system above moderates this through DNA tests, which make exclusivity unnecessary (thereby eliminating true polygamy); nevertheless, it is unknown if eliminating the bastardy/cuckoldry concerns are sufficient for eliminating the negative societal effects of polygamy.
The way Aethodians name themselves has throughout history been largely defined by the active naming legislation.
In present-day Aethodia, Aethodias have two names: Their name-name, and their nick-name. These are each divided into two parts: a "fore", and a "sur".
The forename is given to an individual at birth, and cannot be changed. The surname is determined per genetics, being linked to the Y chromosome for those with one, and mtDNA for those without. It also cannot be changed, but it can be set at-will during immigration if your lineage is not yet registered in Aethodia.
The forenick is determined by the individual (It defaults to their forename, if unset.), and can be changed whenever they like. The surnick is the name of their primary familial corporation (It defaults to their surname, if unset.).
Aethodians use their nicknames far more-often than their namenames; with the latter being more ceremonial than anything. Namenames don't even see great use in legal documents, as these are signed with a citizen's ID#, rather than a name. Namenames are however used in some contexts where the immutability of the token is paramount, such as on grave markers or in history textbooks. In this way, the namename bears some superficial resemblance to the posthumous names of the Sinosphere.
As Aethodia is little-endian, surs are listed before fores: "hə́f má-jəlh" (The sur here is emboldened.); the advantage being that relatives sort together in a list.
Previously, Theodians had no surnames at all, as it was seen as creating a risk of allegiance to a house, and thereby tendencies towards aristocratism. Likewise, there was no forename -- only a forenick, which was at the time called a "handle".
There also used to be a "short", which was an acronymized version of the handle.
The ancient period of Theodian naming practices refers to the time near the country's founding. Not much is known about naming practices at this time. It is assumed that names approximately followed the continuously changing older versions of Theodian, with considerable influence from English spellings. It is also known that middle names were required to be the favourite parent's last name followed by '-sson' (even for women), and that last names typically showed some sort of familial affiliation.
Aethodian is the first of the the two national languages of the Republic of Aethodia. It is a micronational engelang/explang (a type of constructed language, or 'conlang'). It was designed linguist Miles Huff (Swena). Most Aethodians are at least marginally interested in learning the language due to its purported cognitive advancements and perceived coolness. It is a formal language, to be governed by the Linguistic Council of Aethodia. Informal varieties are not stigmatized; the formal variety exists mainly to assist people in avoiding communicational difficulties posed by linguistic change-over-time and dialectal variation, as well as improving legislative clarity.
The other national language is English, specifically, Aethodian English. This dialect is spoken by Aethodians and is similar to Southwest-Floridian / American English, the main differences between them being a few spellings, pronunciations, pronouns, and phraseology. One notable feature is the lack of mandatory gendered language.