Theodian culture

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Although every member-city of the Theodian Confœderation 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 Theodian culture.
This article was current as of 2018, May.

Conventions

Customs

Architecture & design

Architecture
The Theodian bond

Theodia 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. The bricks conventionally have dimensions of 237mm:79mm:79mm, as 79mm is the average width of a hand[1].

Furniture

Theodia has a rather unique tradition of furniture. The stereotypical bed in Theodia is actually a circular bed hung from a central point, and chairs are commonly shaped like saddles. Also, most toilets are sitting-squatting (ie, you sit in a squatting position) toilets equipped with bidets. Interior doors only cover the center of the doorway, being completely open at their tops and bottoms, so as to allow greater airflow, while still preventing sight.

Popular culture

Clothing
A depiction of warm-weather Theodian garb

Traditional Theodian clothing is divided into two 'cold' and 'warm' weather versions, the former being the outfit designed when Theodia was planning to found itself in Greenland, and the latter being the outfit designed when Theodia was still based out of Neapolita. Each item can be variously trimmed about its edges, and the sash generally takes the same colour as the trimming. As well, the arms and legs are seen as somewhat mystically analogous, and so are clad similarly. Each outfit was respectively designed to be capable of keeping Theodians either warm in the Tundra or cool in the tropics, while remaining comfortable, relatively simple, unique, and minimally interferant with movement. The former was derived from the latter.
Items common to the two are:

  • Underwear, including crotch-wear (most typically of a kind that minimizes the need for one to cross ser legs whilst sitting (eg, boxer-briefs)) and potentially a bra, depending upon a person's bustiness (although the location of the sash somewhat decreases the need for a bra);
  • A simple halter-top dress going down to about the knees;
  • A sash tied at the waist; and
  • A poncho covering down to about the elbows.

The cold-weather version is generally composed of the following (with all cloth being most typically some kind of woolen knit), in addition to the above items:

  • Underwear, including crotch-wear (eg, boxer-briefs) and potentially a bra, depending upon a person's bustiness (although the location of the sash somewhat decreases the need for a bra);
  • Tabi-socks that go halfway up the thighs;
  • Gloves which go halfway up the upper arm and cover the second-highest segment of each finger only halfway;
  • A keffiyeh/shemagh or balaclava;
  • Waterproof boots which go about halfway up the calves; and
  • Mittens which have individual sections for both the thumb and the index fingers, and which extend about halfway up up the lower arm.

The warm-weather version is generally composed of the following (with all cloth being seersucker, often twilled, and usually made of linen or hemp), in addition to the items in the first list:

As in many cultures, there are certain norms of use regarding what clothing to wear at what times. When indoors, it is courteous for one to lower the mask of ser headwear or to drop ser hat onto ser neck, as well as to remove ser sandals or ser outer gloves and boots.

Cuisine

The staple ingredients of Theodian cuisine are quinoa, kale, and sardines, all of which were chosen for their nutritional worth and safety of consumption. Pride is typically taken in processing foods prior to consumption, with this seen as a sign of civilization. Often, quinoa is sprouted and processed into pasta or bread, kale is shredded, and sardines are ground and pattied. Fruits are often jellied and spread.
Instead of coffee or steeped tea, Theodians typically drink filtered matcha, oftentimes with sugar or cream added. Matcha is ground tea; it has the caffeine of coffee without the jitters, and it has the antioxidants etc of tea. The small granulation and high surface area of the matcha makes for especially quick preparation in comparison to most coffees, let alone in comparison with most teas. Additionally, since matcha is sourced from the leaves of any of several varieties of plants, it can be grown in far more places (as well as more sustainably) than coffee.
Porridge (often preserves-infused) and matcha are a typical breakfast, as they are quick and easy to prepare, and respectively have a high fullness factor and a powerful stimulant. Eggs on toast is also a popular breakfast food. Lunch often involves sandwiches and wraps (Theodians take their sandwiches as seriously as the English), as they are easy to transport, do not require heating before consumption, and are minimally interruptive to one's work. Peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches are particularly popular, and Theodians mix and match different nut-butters and fruit-preserves at whim. Dinner is often the most intricate meal, with pastas, meats, and vegetables featuring most prominently. Dinner is also the meal for which Theodians are most likely to dine out.

Music

There is, as yet, no established traditional style of Theodian music.
Information regarding the technical conventions of Theodian folk music can be found here.

Sports

The de jure national sport of the Republic of Theodia is battlegaming, or LARPing, and is widely popular throughout the country. The official ruleset in Theodia 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.

Time

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.

Ceremonies & religion

Holidays

Theodia has 6 main holidays each year, 3 major, 3 minor; there are essentially 2 per Third. Major Holidays occur in the intercalary days between Thirds; while minor holidays take place halfway through each Third. Tertiary holidays, such as independence day, are also present; though they typically have far fewer festivities.

Religion & spirituality

Religion, in Theodia, 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, Theodia 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, Theodian 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 Theodians 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 Theodian 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 & gender

Race & ethnicity

Race, in the physical sense, is, in Theodia, 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 important at all, and the government doesn't collect racial data on censuses (This latter bit is also partly because of Theodia'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 "Theodian".

Gender roles

There are neither de jure nor de facto concepts of formal gender roles in Theodia, as unbalanced, arbitrary restrictions and benefits afforded to people on the sole basis of their birth is considered to be aristocratic and inherently antithetical to achieving equality of opportunity. As gender-roles are not relevant to Theodian culture, gender-mandatory language has dropped out of Theodian English and is of course unpresent in Theodian. Even the typical clothing accentuates this, as it helps to normalize physical appearance to a certain extent. Additionally, one's sex is considered a relatively private affair. All of this together affords Theodian citizens great flexibility in all otherwise potentially gendered aspects of their lives.
Because of this government-endorsed epicenity, it is often somewhat difficult to talk about Theodians in non-epicene languages. Theodian English has forgone 'he' & 'she' in favour of the epicene 'se', but many other sets of proposed gender-neutral pronouns exist, such as singular 'they', which is popular in several other dialects of English. Many people prefer to refer to Theodians using whatever gendered pronoun seems to be the best match, or whichever corresponds to the person's sex (if the sex is known), or even whichever pronoun the person prefers. There are no hard-and-fast rules, where this is concerned.

Kinship

Romance & sexuality

Marriage is not a part of Theodian law in either monogamous or polygamous forms (using "-gamy" to refer also to "-andry" etc); so where the term "marriage" is used in relation to Theodia, it refers to an exclusionary religious practice (More information on such practices can be found in the religion section.). Legally, the society is amorous, with "amory" being essentially a decentralized web of relationships, in contrast to monogamy, in which a single unit is formed; and polygamy, in which a centralized network is formed. However, with any sort of amory, all partners are theoretically quite politically equal. It further allows and possibly even facilitates changes in relationships that coincide with personal development on the behalves of all parties, as well as potentially cleaner cessation or lessening of relationships than marriage. For those who seek to live together, cohabitation or communitarianism are the two typical means by which Theodians accomplish this. Due to non-interaction in this by the state and a cultural acceptance of such free exploration of romance, Theodian citizens can be considered some of the most romantically free in the world.
Theodians are also quite free sexually, but there are of course some notable restrictions. Child-adult sexual relations are not allowed, nor is non-consensual sex (rape). Public sexual exhibitionism is likewise restricted. Nudity is less so. Nipples are generally covered in public unless at the beach / changing / 'etc', and there is no bias to this based on the hormonality of a person, unlike in most western societies where really only estrogenized people need to cover their breasts.

Familial organization

Due to Theodia's polyamorous society, the family is structured differently than is common in many other societies. The family is generally seen as composed of guardians, siblings, and wards. Children throughout their lifetime may have many guardians as their guardians' relationships change. Often, a child will stay with their biological parent, but not always. Adoption is a very casual thing, and people are generally very open about it. One of the reasons is that there isn't really the pressure to have biological children that exists in other societies, as lineage is not drawn through blood. A person's siblings are all those people with whom se shared a guardian at the same time; and a ward is someone under a guardianship. People growing up will typically have a network of parents (guardians) and siblings, and their family is that network of people. The extended family is composed of the guardians and siblings of one's guardians. There is no stigma against relationships between close-kin, in part due to one's biological siblings commonly only living with them for a short time. [2]

Naming practices

Modern

Theodians traditionally have only a single formal name (called a "handle") and any number of nicknames (called "nicks"), but they do not have any surnames, as one's dynastic heritage is considered wholly unimportant, and so is not recognized by law. The way Theodians name themselves has throughout history been largely defined by the active naming legislation.

Ancient

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, except that the King's name was 'Sven'. 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', and that last names typically showed some sort of familial affiliation.

Language

The two national languages of the Republic of Theodia are Theodian and English.[3] Many citizens also are somewhat proficient in Spanish.

Theodian

Theodian is the first of the the two national languages of the Republic of Theodia. It is a micronational engelang/explang (a type of constructed language, or 'conlang'). It was designed by undergraduate student and amateur linguist, Miles Bradley Huff (Swena). Most Theodians 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 Theodia. 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.

English

The other national language is English, specifically, Theodian English[4]. This dialect is spoken by Theodians 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.

See also


References