| National Motto:|
Lyy Lasyol (“Nation of Life”)
Asyhlo AO is in Orange
|Population (August 2007)||~2,030|
|Largest Religions||Atheism, Catholicism|
|Tech Level||Modern Tech|
- Prime Minister
|CHDI||0.541 - medium high|
|National Holiday||January 14 (1969)|
|Stats: NSEconomy Pipian XML|
- 1 History
- 2 Geography and Climate
- 3 Government
- 4 Economy
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Culture
The first Asyhloans are thought to have arrived around the 1500s. However, dates are very inexact, as the Asyhloan language was not written down until the arrival of the colonizers. Most of what is known about the earliest Asyhloans is conjecture based upon folk tales and testimony of natives.
Colonial Period (1812-1897)
The first settlers of Asyhlo were Metalgol explorers, who “discovered” the island in 1812. “Discovered” is in quotes because neighboring Cybernursians and Pilchards knew of the existence of the Asyhlo for several hundred years before that, even if communication was uncommon. The Metalgol quickly colonized the island over the next thirty years, building up a town at Palmela in the north of the island (Palmela had previously been the largest native community, with about 36 residents). The colony did well due to extensive banana and tobacco plantations around the north of the island. In the south's mountainous jungle, the natives lived relatively undisturbed.
The Metalgol leaders created an aristocracy system like they had back home, and created a Duke at the top. The most prominent of these, and the first one to rule from Asyhlo and not back in Metalgol, was Duke Wanderley, who preferred to be referred to as the Duke of Palmela. Appointed in 1885, he was a very popular leader, and a small pro-independence movement sprang up in the 1890s. The Duke himself felt that the Asyhloan people should have the right to create their own laws and elect their own leaders.
Independence and Duchy (1897-1919)
In 1896, after an informal poll of citizens, Duke Wanderley declared that normal citizens should have the right to conduct informal polls. The government of Metalgolem criticized this, and attempted to remove Duke Wanderley and replace him. The Duke refused, and Metalgol sailors were sent to attack the island. The Duke therefore declared the Asyhlo Autonomous Organization, a military and political body that would fight for independence. (The new nation was eventually named Asyhlo AO in its honor.) The Asyhloans eventually won their independence by sinking one of Metalgolem's ships using coconuts bombarded at it; the Metalgol government decided that dealing with the Asyhloans would be “too bothersome.”
Duke Wanderley then ran the island as a Duchy, with himself in charge alongside a small elected body of four individuals. The Duchy was transformed into a democratic welfare state, with a mediocre economy largely based on exports of bananas and tobacco, but with a multitude of civil rights. Asyhlo AO stayed relatively isolationist, due to the dominance of the region by antagonistic nations such as Metalgolem, Pmace and Baalzebob. (At that point, Pmace was governed by a solidly-right coalition which opposed the welfare state.)
In 1919, Duke Wanderley contracted typhoid and died very suddenly. Because he had never married and had no children, a power vacuum was left on the island, and several factions struggled to gain control of the government, including a leftist guerrilla organization, supporters of Duke Wanderley's brother, and rightist supporters of Pinto Leite. In the “3 Days War” between leftists, Duchy supporters and Leiteists, Pinto Leite gained control of Palmela and, during the later “2 Days War”, the entire island.
Pinto Leite was a rightist dictator supported by Baalzebob's government. After seizing control of the island, he promptly executed the Duke's brother, and the Duke's sister was forced to flee to Cybernurse where she worked as an accountant. He also expelled several leading leftists, who eventually became naturalized Satanic Nymphs. He ruled with an iron fist, quashing opposition and setting 92% tax rates, slightly lower than the previous 97% rates. He was supported in this by Baalzebobbian businessmen, who sought refuge from their country's 100% tax rates. He is also said to have ruled with an “iron thumb”, building a number of drab concrete buildings in Palmela and ravaging the forests of the island's south to make way for banana plantations.
In 1931, Pinto Leite died, but was succeeded by his trophy wife, Linda Leite. (His first wife, Roberta Almeida, reverted to her first name upon their divorce and ran an important tobacco plantation.) She continued in her husband's footsteps, suppressing civil rights and preventing any organized opposition from forming.
Revolution and Democracy (1969-2000)
In the early 1960s, Coracy Barreto, the nation's leading hairstylist, began an underground opposition movement known as the “velveteen crumpets.” This alliance of leftists, women, indigenous Asyhloans and chickadees continued to grow until 1969, when they began their revolution. Up until this point, Ms. Barreto led a very public life, and her involvement with the organization was unknown. But, on January 14, 1969, she and the velveteen crumpets stormed the dictatorial mansion, ousting Linda Leite from power. They immediately called elections, which she won in a landslide. Forming a centre-leftist government in the new 11-member Senate, she immediately set to work reversing the past half-century of dictatorship. She immediately declared freedom of speech and the press, and raised tax rates to 94%. She also declared tobacco illegal, thus eliminating the third-largest export (following bananas and papayas, which had recently surged in production.) She passed a number of environmental measures, declaring more than half of the island a national park, and banning automobiles, forcing the population to move into Palmela and its environs. She continued the education-driven welfare state of the Duchy.
Her government won elections in 1974, 1979, and 1984. In 1989, she announced that she would be stepping down, and was replaced as head of the Velveteen Crumpet Party by Sidney Santos. In the subsequent elections, the Velveteen Crumpet Party dropped from 10/11 seats to 6/11, holding on to their precarious majority. The other three parties (see Politics section) all had at least one seat.
In the 1994 elections, the VCP lost their majority, keeping just four seats. They formed an alliance with the Socialist Party of Asyhlo AO (SPA), with their three seats, having a 7-4 lead over the other two parties. The involvement of the SPA in government led to a more Socialistic policy, with tax rates increasing to 96%.
Modern Asyhlo AO (2000-2007)
In the 1999 elections, the VCP-SPA alliance dropped to just five seats (3 VCP, 2 SPA) due to low voter turnout and the botched government response to a hurricane, and the Duchy Party and Leitistas (3 seats each) tried to form a government. However, their government collapsed, and the DP supported a VCP-SPA minority government, perpetuating the welfare state but preventing any more moves towards socialism.
For the most recent 2004 elections, see Politics.
Geography and Climate
Asyhlo is a volcanic island located in the southwest of Cerescapia. Its largest geographic feature is the Asyhlo volcano, located approximately in the center of the island. The volcano is currently considered dormant, and only one eruption is recorded in folk literature, occurring in the early 1700s. The rest of the island is largely covered in jungle, especially the south and west. The west is also known for its beautiful sandy beaches. The east coast, by contrast, is rocky and cliff-lined. The north coast was formerly jungle, but is now urban and agricultural.
The climate is generally tropical, with alternating rain and sunshine. Occasionally, a cyclone passes through the area, although major ones only occur about once a decade. The most recent of these, cyclone Allyao in 1999, caused extensive damage to resorts along the island's northwest coast. (The government's bad response to this disaster is one reason why they lost their majority in the elections that year.) The east coast is much windier than the rest of the island. In winter, the lowest temperatures recorded are in the low 60s or upper 50s Fahrenheit, while summer highs can reach 100.
Palmela (Alala in Asyhloan) has been the capital of Asyhlo since the beginning of colonization. Since that point, it has grown, and now more than 70% of the island's population lives in Palmela or its suburbs.
The city is filled with beautiful historic buildings, dating from all periods of the country's history.
The Duke's Mansion was the center of government from colonization through the death of Duke Wanderley. The main mansion surrounded a large courtyard filled with tropical plants; to the east was a large area used as a military headquarters. However, after the Leiteists took over, they burned the building to the ground.
Pinto Leite built a large mansion south of Palmela on his family's plantation. This building served as the center of government during the dictatorship period. When the revolution occurred, Barreto led the protesters from the center of Palmela south to this mansion, where Linda Leite officially resigned her position as President. The mansion is now used as headquarters of the national park, and the former tobacco plantation is now the park's northern tip.
After the revolution, the Velveteen Crumpets rebuilt a government compound on the site of the destroyed Duke's mansion. The compound is divided into 13 units, one for each department. The units are as follows:
- 1 – Cafeteria
- 2 – Department of Intelligence: Government-run Library
- 3 – Judiciary Chambers
- 4 – Department of International Relations
- 5 – Department of Public Relations – Main broadcast antenna for state-owned radio station (see Communications below)
- 6 – Entranceway
- 7 – Senate chambers
- 7A – Offices of Senators.
- 8 – Department of Police and Military
- 9 – Department of Health: This is effectively a government-run hospital.
- 10 – Department of the Environment
- 11 – “Plaza of the Sun” (Department of Transportation)
- 12 – Department of Education
- 13 – Asyhloan History Museum: The AHM has several exhibits, including ones on native Asyhlo, the Duchy period, and Hair Care Through History.
In the late 1970s, the government purchased a group of buildings south of the government compound, facing the departments of Intelligence, the Environment and Education (the Plaza of the Sun had not yet been constructed) and converted it into a garden. Opened to the public in 1981, the Barreto Gardens have since been maintained by a public trust, and are considered one of the most beautiful places in Asyhlo AO.
The central plaza, east of the government compound, is the commercial heart of Palmela. Recently, the plaza gained attention, after litter began to collect in piles; the department of health, which faces the plaza, has since cleaned the area regularly.
Additionally, there are a number of historic buildings currently used as restaurants, stores and the like, especially in the heart of Palmela.
Outside Palmela, most of the land is used for agricultural plantations, growing bananas, papayas, cassavas, guavas and the like.
The northwest, west and south coasts have long been major resort destinations. There was a dip in tourism after the revolution, during the period between the banning of automobiles and the construction of the circuminsular public rail system. The government offered to buy out any resorts that were floundering during this period, and then converted the land acquired, most of it on the south coast, into part of the National Park.
The park itself encompasses about 70% of the island's land, from the Leite mansion south of Palmela south to the southern coast, including much of the island's interior. Palmela and its environs and the west coast are the only areas largely not included in the park. Within the park, no non-government buildings are allowed; the only buildings within the park are the Leite mansion and a small train station on the south coast. There has been pressure on the government to construct a series of nature trails across the island, but so far none have been created.
Asyhlo AO claims a 20km radius of exclusive fishing rights. This comes into conflict with Metalgolem's 50km claimed radius, but the overlap is not used for fishing.
Little is known about what mineral resources are available in Asyhlo AO, due to the fact that most of the island is a national park. The island does have extensive agricultural resources, however.
There is no official constitution of Asyhlo AO. This is because the previous constitution, instituted soon after independence, was hijacked by the Leite dictatorship for their own means; that constitution was declared null and void by Coracy Barreto in 1970. In place of a constitution, all laws passed, including the first ones to create a new government structure, are listed in full in a work called the "body of laws". The only full copies of the body of laws are located in the Judiciary Department and Asyhlo Historical Museum, although abbreviated versions with a sentence or two on each law passed are available for sale in most shops.
There is no official executive in Asyhlo AO. However, the governing coalition normally decides upon a leader who acts as Prime Minister from among the members of the Senate. The head of the current coalition is Sidney Santos of the VCP.
The Senate consists of eleven seats, elected for five-year terms by a party-list system. Suffrage is universal for those aged 16 or over.
The current government is a VCP-SPA alliance. They regained their majority in 2004 due to an increase of 2 seats for the VCP, both taken from the Leitistas.
Since the return of democracy in 1969, four parties have been present in Asyhlo AO.
There is a jury-based judiciary system in Asyhlo AO, although it is relatively constricted. All trials must be administered by one of the Senators in lieu of a judge. There is no government prosecution; the “claimant” (usually the victim) and “defendant” (accused perpetrator) are the two sides. After arguments and evidence/witness presentation by each side, a jury of 6 citizens makes a decision. The claimant may opt for either monetary payment (which is taxed) or jail time; either way, the sentence is automatic based on the crime. For example, if a defendant is convicted of Intentional Murder, and the claimant asks for jail time, the defendant will be placed in jail (actually the basement of the Department of Police and Military) for life; however, if the claimant asks for monetary repayment, the defendant will be assessed 1 Billion Sjmea (about NS$4,422,303.45). If the defendant is not able to pay, their possessions and property will be seized, appraised and the appropriate amount given to the claimant. If the defendant is still unable to pay, they will be given proportional jail time. In this instance, life imprisonment is considered as 114 years, so if the defendant can pay 50% of the fine, they will be placed in jail for 57 years.
Centerpieces of Foreign Policy
During the Duchy period, Asyhlo was a very isolationist nation, with little by way of foreign relations. However, during the dictatorship period, the government maintained close ties to Baalzebob and Metalgolem, the island's predominant trading partners. After the revolution, relations with those two nations soured, as Asyhlo cultivated closer ties with smaller nations like Cybernurse and the Satanic Nymphs. Recently, the nation has sought strong links with Pmace, viewed as the strongest democracy in Cerescapia.
Currently, Asyhlo maintains an embassy in Pmace City, and Pmace has a small office in the Department of International Relations in the government compound in Palmela. Asyhlo does not have official ties with Metalgolem due to several disputes:
- The primary dispute is over the status of political refugees. Asyhlo AO currently grants asylum to all Metalgol political refugees who make it into its territorial waters, and it says it will only return those refugees born in Metalgolem (not their descendants) once the current government is deposed and free and fair elections have been held. Metalgolem insists that the return of political refugees and their descendants be a condition of the creation of official ties.
- A second, more recent dispute, is over Sidney Santos' 2005 statements concerning the areas along the River of Nymphs that belong to Metalgolem. Santos claims that after the collapse of the Satanic Nymph government in the late 1990s, the areas on the west bank of that river were unfairly given to Metalgolem (the east bank belongs to Pmace). She said that relations can only be reestablished once a referendum has been held in the formerly-Satanic areas, with options of remaining in Metalgolem, moving sovereignty to Pmace or some other nation, or regaining independence. Metalgolem has criticised her for not making the same accusations towards Pmace, where there has also been no referendum; they claim that she does not want to upset Asyhlo's close ally. Ms. Santos responded by saying she would support a referendum on the East Bank as well, although she did not view it as being as pressing since polling shows that nearly 80% of Eastern Nymphs support Pmace, while only 45% of Western Nymphs report supporting Metalgolem (and that figure may be inflated due to fears of retribution from Metalgolem's government). In fact, the areas along the Satanic River, especially its southern reaches, are the only area with open anti-Metalgolem unrest.
However, the two nations do speak unofficially, especially at regional summits held on Pmace's territory.
Membership of the United Nations
One of the first things the Barreto government did was apply for membership of the United Nations. It was admitted in 1973, and since that point, has been the longest continual UN member in Cerescapia (Pmace was a member first, but had a period in the 1990s when its membership lapsed.) It does not maintain an official office in the UN building, but operates out of the general Cerescapian office when its ambassador is there. (The only nation with permanent representation in the Cerescapian office is Pmace, since Metalgolem is not a UN member.)
Asyhlo's government has supported Pmace as regional delegate since that nation re-entered the United Nations in 1999. However, it only officially endorsed Pmace in 2004, because the minority government of 1999-2003 was unable to gather enough votes for an endorsement.
Asyhlo tends to support strong Environmental resolutions at the UN, although surprisingly does not support Education- or Labor-related UN resolutions. In the words of Coracy Barreto, who acted as UN delegate from 1989 to her death in 1997, “Education and Labor are government issues, and should be dealt with by each nation's government. But the Environment is a World Issue, and no nation should be allowed to destroy it.”
The army consists of one military officer, who has two guns kept under lock and key. The nation maintains a volunteer of security personnel who act mostly as a fire department, but are also allowed to bear arms under state of war, which is effectively never. They are able to enforce the law due to the complete lack of firearms in the nation, as their security knives are the most dangerous weapons in the nation.
The navy consists of a 20' boat, which patrols the waters around Asyhlo AO. Its main task is to pick up political refugees from Metalgolem on boats and bring them to the immigration office in Palmela, but it is also used to stop smugglers.
The air force is symbolic, and consists of Asyhlo Air's agreement to lend its one airliner to the government during wartime. This has never been invoked.
|Exchange Rate to USD||1 NS$ : 226 Sj (free floating)|
|In use since||1897 (Independence from Metalgolem)|
The currency of Asyhlo AO is the Sjmea. Currently, the most recent exchange rates for the Sjmea are:
- 1 Sjmea = .44 NS cents; NS$1 = 226 Sjmea
- 1 Sjmea = .22 Pmace cents; P$1 = 445 Sjmea
- 1 Sjmea = .0029 Celeron (Metalgolem); 1 Celeron = 341 Sjmea
The Sjmea is a coin with the profile of the Duke of Wanderley on one side and a depiction of the Asyhlo volcano on the other. It was first used after independence: before that time, the official currency was the Metalgol Celeron, although barter was the main form of exchange. During the Leite dictatorship, Wanderley's profile was replaced by that of Pinto Leite, but the old coinage was reestablished after the revolution. In 1979, 1989, and 1999, Duke Wanderley's profile was replaced with Coracy Barreto's to commemorate the revolution.
Minimum wage is 1000 Sjmea an hour or about NS$4.48. However, most of this goes to taxes. The seemingly low incomes are partly illusory – a Sjmea actually has much more purchasing power that exchange rates would make it seem, since there is a dearth of NS$ in the economy (thus, the NS$ is overvalued and the Sjmea undervalued).
The economy of Asyhlo AO has long been agriculturally based, especially on bananas, papayas and formerly tobacco. In recent years, the economy has started to move towards manufacturing and services, but agriculture still makes up around 70% of exports.
Due to the environmentalist nature of Asyhlo AO's politics, the largest energy source is solar. The government has solar panels on the roofs of all its buildings, producing excess electricity which it then provides to residents free of charge. Many residents have their own panels as well, although they are forced to donate any extra electricity to the local grid. Any extra necessity is supplied by geothermal energy from the volcano.
It has recently been proposed that the government begin construction of wind turbines in the eastern part of the island, which is windiest. However, this was canceled due to its high cost.
In recent years, Asyhlo AO has become the region's biggest manufacturer of electroshock machines, due to it being the base of Shock, an electroconvulsive therapy equipment corporation and one of the few non-agricultural companies based on the island. Shock has a manufacturing plant just west of Palmela. In the past, the company expressed interest in mining for materials on Asyhlo, but was blocked by the government for environmental reasons.
All clothing goods are made off-island. Some women weave garments out of a rope made from the sinews of the banana tree, but few on the island wear them and they are mostly sold to tourists.
Tourism was first popular in Asyhlo AO after Pinto Leite came to power. The island became a popular tax holiday destination. After the revolution, tourism dropped off, but in the 1980s due to an advertising campaign, it became a popular eco-tourism destination in the region.
Asyhlo AO was a major finance centre during the dictatorship, and a lot of “dirty money” was funneled through the country. Much of this money was seized during the revolution, and the government maintains a small budget surplus. Asyhlo AO has never been as much of a financial centre as Pmace, however.
There are about 1,700 main land lines in the country. There are additionally nearly 900 cell phones in use. Cell phone service extends to Palmela and its immediate environs, but is not available in the east, west or south of the island.
There is one commercial radio station, Radio Asyhlo, which broadcasts local programming in Asyhloan as well as rebroadcast news services in English, and can be heard anywhere on the northern half of the island at 97.3 fm. It has a sister station, Radio Asyhlo West, which serves the resorts on the west coast with news in Pmace and English, but only broadcasts for a few hours a day; it operates on 97.7 fm. (Radio Asyhlo owns all bandwidth between 97.0 and 98.0 fm.) The government operates its own radio station at 89.9 fm, which can be received anywhere on the island; the main broadcast antenna is on top of the Ministry of Education building, with a relay tower next to a train station on the island's southwest coast. It is used for emergency broadcasts like weather alerts as well as complete broadcasts of all Senate sessions.
There is one television station, Asyhlo-4, which operates from 6-9 am and 4-11 pm. It broadcasts local programming, including some educational programs produced at the local schools, as well as dubbed movies and cartoons. Additional channels in English, Metalgol and Pmace are available to those with satellite dishes, about 10% of the population.
The top-level domain for Asyhlo AO is .aao. All government departments maintain websites, as do several businesses and individuals.
Asyhlo's largest trading partner is Pmace. Officially, there is no trade with Metalgolem, due to an embargo in place; however, some goods are smuggled between the two countries. Asyhlo also exports bananas and papayas to many other nations.
Exports and Imports
Asyhlo's primary exports are agricultural, especially bananas and papayas, but also including cassavas, guavas, mangos and avocados. The other primary export is electroshock machinery, sold to some clinics in Pmace and (off the books) to Metalgolem's intelligence services. The final export is books, which are translated into Pmace, as well as English in order to reach a wider audience.
Imports include most meat and grain products, as well as textiles, lumber (very little can be gotten on Asyhlo, as nearly all remaining forest is within the National Park) and electronics.
Due to the illegality of cars, few live outside of Palmela and its surroundings, with the primary exception being the resorts along the west coast. Public transportation, in the form of famous “double-decker trains,” is very heavily used, and operates throughout the capital as well as on a loop around the island.
There is a charter ferry service from Palmela to Pmace City and Pilchardtown. There is also one 20-seater aircraft, run by Asyhlo Air, which has scheduled twice-weekly service to Pmace International Airport and once-weekly service to Despair, Metalgolem's capital, along with charter flights to other destinations. Palmela International Airport (PAA), southwest of the downtown area, consists of one small terminal, one small hangar, and one small runway. The terminal has two gates, one used by Asyhlo Air and one used by small private aircraft. The port of Palmela also has facilities to allow for the landing and takeoff of seaplanes.
The largest ethnic group in Asyhlo AO are native Asyhloe, who make up about 60% of the population. This figure includes those who are at least 50% Asyhloe, with most of them having at least some portion of their ancestry be Metalgol.
The next-largest group are of largely pre-colonial Metalgol ancestry, making up about 25% of the population.
The remaining 15% of the population are almost entirely first- or second-generation immigrants. Many of them are political exiles from nearby nations, mostly from Metalgolem. Due to the relatively lax immigration laws, immigration is on the rise in Asyhlo AO, and people of indigenous ancestry are expected to make up less than 40% of the population by 2040.
The biggest religious group are Atheists, who make up about 45% of the population. They are followed by Catholics, who make up about 40% of the population and have one church (plus a small “worship house”) on the island. The current pastor of Our Lady of Asyhlo AO Church is Father Bamo Thonsoio. They are especially strong among those of Metalgol descent. The remaining 15% are largely immigrants, and are composed of Buddhists, United Protestants (created by the merger of the local Anglican and Methodist churches, they have one church), and Jainists (who have a small community in the northeast of the island). Only the Catholic and United Protestant churches are officially registered, due to high tax rates imposed on religious donations.
There are two Catholic Saints based on the island. Saint Stimada is in fact not a Catholic, but was a native deity who was adapted into Catholicism by missionaries so they could convert indigenous people. Saint Memat, probably the most famous, is the patron saint of Asyhlo AO. He was a devout Catholic member of the Velveteen Crumpets who stormed the Dictatorial Mansion and was killed by supporters of Linda Leite.
- See main article: Asyhloan
The sole official language of Asyhlo AO is called Asyhloan.
Due to the simplicity of the written language and the extensive education system, illiteracy is almost unheard of in Asyhlo AO.
Metalgol is also used extensively in Asyhlo, especially among the immigrant community, and about 9% of the population speak it as a first language. Additionally, resorts on the west and northwest coast generally require their staff to be at least semi-fluent in Pmace, the predominant language of tourists.
Before colonization, all literature was oral. Much of this literature was lost during the colonial period, with only a few songs or stories surviving.
The man considered the “father of Asyhlo literature,” Olav Lilac was born in Palmela to Metalgol parents. Previous literature written in Asyhlo had all been in Metalgol, and is still considered to belong culturally to Metalgolem. In contrast, Lilac wrote his books in Asyhloan. His novels are filled with national pride, and he was known to be a close friend of Duke Wanderley's. He wrote seven novels and over twenty short stories before he was killed in the Three Days War after the Duke's death.
His writing style has influenced all Asyhloan authors since. Although most literature, including Lilac's work, was banned under the dictatorship, it was still widely read. After the revolution, his books were reprinted, and three of them are now required reading in Asyhlo's secondary schools. Since the revolution, book publishing has consistently been the third-largest sector of Asyhlo's economy, after agriculture and electroconvulsive machinery.
Music and Theater
Music has never been a strong point of Asyhlo's culture, and most young people listen to music from Pmace or elsewhere.
Theater, by contrast, is strong, and the Palmela Theater, next to Barreto Gardens, stages plays three times a week. (The other four nights, movies are shown, normally in English with Asyhloan subtitles.)
The visual arts are a non-commercial entity in Asyhlo. Generally, most artists either display their work in the Asyhlo Historical Museum (for which they are paid a small stipend) or sell it personally to restaurants in Asyhlo or collectors elsewhere. Also, many artists express themselves as in the cafe mural shown, creating art while working in low-wage jobs as waiters or dishwashers.
There are several schools in Asyhlo AO, all of them government-run. There is one elementary school on the west coast that mostly serves resort workers' children. Additionally, there are two elementary schools in Palmela.
The only secondary school on the island, the Barreto Memorial School is located west of the government compound in Palmela. Constructed in 1976, the school is noted for its extensive natural lighting. (Before that point, each elementary school ran from grades 1 through 12.)
The government offers tertiary courses regularly at the Department of Education, that are open to the public. In order to become certified in certain professions, like teacher or doctor, a certain number of courses are required; for example, in order to become a science teacher, one course in education, three courses in science and one course in something else must be completed. Courses normally last for three months, meeting once a week.
Asyhlo's traditional cuisine is tasty and nutritious. The staple foods are bananas, cassavas, guavas and other tropical fruits. Corn and fish are also commonly consumed, and chicken and eggs are occasionally eaten on the island.
The national dish is a fish-and-fruit stew, combining some local fish with corn, plus avocado, banana and other fruits, and often okra or broccoli, cooked in a traditional furnace, as seen above. Although originally made of stone and wood-fired, these furnaces are now often metal or fiberglass and run on electricity. In many homes, the stove is half-sized, with the extra space taken up by a mini-furnace.
Typical beverages include tropical fruit juices, like banana or mango juice. Milk must be imported, and is not considered a staple. Alcoholic beverages like beer and wine may be purchased at stores and restaurants, but they may not be consumed in public.
Some foods are not produced on the island and must be imported, like pork, beef and beets. Additionally, the production of wheat for flour and bread is not enough for the entire population, so flour is also a common import.