Biotopia Culture

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The Sixth Republic of Biotopia
Epo Komjent rit Phosee
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Motto Live the best within your means
Keng ven oskrapt homsk ramdeen
Official Languages Biotopian, Celdonian & Biotopian Sign Language
Petchelk, Keldelk & Petchamelk
First Language speakers 47,600,000 (Biotopian)
Cultural Status Contemporary liberal urbanised polyculturalism
Cultural Capital St. Kordaam
Culture & Environment Kalvek Angroph
Budget Total (2019) V 2,770,000,000
Per Capital V 60.39

Common Culture

Biotopians place a strong emphasis on individual responsibility and openness. For example there are many drinking clubs where patrons provide their own alcohol, hotels where visitors are expected to strip and then replace bed linen before they leave and eating halls where diners bring their own meals to share. This culture stems from the period of acute shortages when goods were either unable to be bought at reasonable prices or could not be found at all. The self-service philosophy was two-fold, it reduced costs for businesses while helping to alleviate the potential for a social crises by re-distributing goods in a socialised manner.
The system remains part of the popular folk-socialism PagUmhraj-Humatorzhat identity that characterised the idealism of Biotopian socialism. Obviously the system has weaknesses, people could find ways to evade contribution although the system was generally well-run with few major incidences. As people have achieved higher wages and shortages have been reversed there has been a decline in the practice of PagUmhraj-Humatorzhat with more people expecting inclusive service for the prices they pay. Outside the major retail centres however it’s very common to walk into a NedaDrev (Own-Plate) restaurant or a Utaga Kais (drinking-club).


Biotopian Calendar

The ‘Biotopian Calendar’ Preghatta daskrepto is based on the division of twenty days into eighteen months with five ‘extra’ days remaining. This calendar is based on a pre-historical system originally believed to have been initiated by the Pan-Helio Plains civilisation however there is evidence that it was first used in the Euphon Delta – Sky Canyon civilisation. This sense of continual time-tracking Orogoatta (translates to ‘world-rhythm’) plays an important role in both the mystical and cultural identity of Biotopians. Time for Biotopians is a cyclical concept; the Earth continually rotates on its axis which in turn orbits the sun which in turn moves across the constellation. Likewise each day cycles through the week, which move across the months, which repeat with the years. The concept of a ‘world-cycle’ is also employed based on the passing of 73 years representing 365 days worth of the five end-of-year days having accumulated.
"Tevea" Dec 23rd – Jan 11th "Nanseb" Jan 12th – Jan 31st
"Urghen" Feb 1st – Feb 20th "Banteb" Feb 21st – Mar 11th
"Inta" Mar 13th – April 1st "Kaprov" April 2nd – April 21nd
"Ash" April 22nd – April 11th "Rovel" April 12th – April 31st
"Grephet" May 1st – May 20th "Orlavtaga" May 21st – June 10th
"Speaven" June 11th – July 30th "Epront" July 31st – August 19th
"Uljekha" August 20th – September 8th "Kotto" September 9th – September 28th
"Jesphre" September 29th – October 18th "Durvot" October 19th – November 7th
"Ungre" November 8th – November 27th "Aupred" November 28th – December 17th
"Resot" December 18th – December 22nd
The last five days of the year were traditionally treated as a religious holiday but in the Republic they are secularised as a non-denominational holiday including the first three days of each year. Year Zero "Etwek" Is calculated from 1325 AD (0 K [Kp is used for proceeding dates, Kn is used for receding dates]) the date for the founding of the Sun Empire. Each month is divided into weeks of six working weekdays with three-day intervals rotating through the year. This means the first day of each weekend one month is the last day of the weekend the next month. On a average Biotopians have less working days than other societies with a total of 228 regular working days and 137 of weekends. The social consequences of this are a strong recreation, entertainment and hospitality industry as well as lower rates of social alienation and increased family and community participation.

Patriotism

Most Biotopians would describe themselves as proud of their cultural and historical background however few people support chauvinism and reject jingoistic appeals to nationalism. It is very rare for instance to see Biotopian flags displayed in prominent public places or to hear the national anthem outside of public major ceremonies. Discussions about national pride are usually shunned not out of disloyalty but a sense of awkwardness similar to the feelings of inappropriateness in open discussion about religion. Biotopians are much more comfortable in talking about sexuality, politics or the state of world affairs.
This has arisen from the historical development of the national identity in Biotopia which has traditionally sidelined the nation. The Republic was constructed as an ideological community of citizens rather than a geographic or racial creation. There is also the prominence of regional identification and the concentration on the communities of state that bind citizens together rather than its institutions. Where contention does arise is usually about the issue of succession for Vellnaen which invites passionate debate in contrast the more relaxed and contemplative nature of national thinking in Biotopia.

Sexuality

Heteronormative assumptions must be pushed aside in Biotopia. Not only are sexual behaviours typically characterised as homosexuality and bisexuality tolerated they are actively embraced. Although not all Biotopians engage in same-sex relationships or have same-sex sexual experiences Biotopians have a pan-sexuality-normative perspective on the issue. Transgender peoples from across the world regularly come to Biotopia for readjustment surgery by the world-class experts in gender reassignment field. Intersex people are also recognised and it is a federal crime to force gender re-assignment on intersex people.
Rather than androgyny many people prefer to recognise a pan-gender and pan-sexuality spectrum as the social normative. Sexual chauvinism is considered an unnatural phenomena within Biotopian because of the historical and cultural prominence of various sexual and gender identities. This is not universally true across all regions or communities but the law against discrimination as been evenly enforced. Some religious groups object to the prominence of homosexual and bisexual behaviour in public as well as recognition of gender-queer. The Mother Church and the Universal Cathedral do not condone this attitude which is largely related to fringe groups or attributed (incorrectly) to foreign religions such as Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

Specism

Most citizens of Biotopia are members of the species Pagnaan Sapiens. As such they are highly aware of their biological uniqueness in a region (and a planet) dominated by Homo sapiens. The ignorance and fear-mongering over this difference has been the cause for much anger, violence and intimidation by both communities. In the contemporary setting specism is not tolerated and Biotopia has significantly improved inter-species relationships within the region taking a pioneering role in establishing the Non-Human Union. Because differences in species were often exaggerated against the importance of race Pagnaan Sapiens have a characteristically good relationship with non-whites. Inter-species racism has also declined.
Overcoming species chauvinism has been a major agenda of successive Biotopian governments. There is a nationally instituted goal of eliminating racism/specism within the country by 2020. Nations such as Iesus Christi are condemned by the government for their promotion of genocide against non-humans. A substantial proportion of foreign aid goes towards improving the condition of other non-humans around the world. The term “meta-humans” employed by some governments in describing non-humans is considered highly-offensive. Biotopia has had very good relations with non-human nations such as Hell Bovines in contrast to the frosty relation with Menelmacar. The government is yet to recognise the claims of any non-human as a “extra-terrestrial”.

Language

The three official languages of Biotopia are; Biotopian, Celdonia and Biotopian Sign Language also known as Petchelk, Kheldelk and Petchamelk in the Biotopian language. The Celdonian alphabet has substituted the original Biotopian one because of its simplicity and versatility. Biotopian is spoken by 44,960,000 people as a first language and another 1,980,000 people as a second language. This number has increased with the growth of economic relations with the external world and the publication and distribution of Biotopian language books for use by mostly Celdonian native speakers.
Official; Biotopian, Celdonian, Biotopian Sign Language
Unofficial; Regional dialects, Dutch, Xikuangese
Literacy Vassan
(definition age 15 and over can read and write)
total population: 99.8%

Alphabet

Biotopian is written in the Celdonian alphabet after the Cyanic alphabet was dropped because of its complexity and difficulty in transcribing new elements of the Biotopian language. The letters C, F, Q, Y and Z/X are absent and substituted by the combinations of K, Ph, Wh, Vh and Zh respectively. The old alphabet was dropped from official use eight years after federation although the current Celdonian influenced model was in use beforehand. Biotopian is also used in all national publications and broadcasters but limited Celdonian language publications are available as well as sub-titling and dubbing into Celdonian. Biotopian sign language is based on the Biotopian alphabet not the Celdonian.
A B D E G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W

Colloquialisms

Biotopia sponsors a rich vocabulary including numerous colloquialisms and proverbs. Some of these colloquialisms have roots in antiquity while other are more contemporary in nature.
Anarchist Akratev derogatory catch-all labelled in a generic manner against people perceived to be of the political liberal and left-wing extremes. (Fascism Phragren is the right-wing counterpart).
Blame it on Hjadar Ra rept ja kor Hjadar a humorous catchphrase from the situational comedy Hjadar Gress (The Hjadar Family or Hjadar’s Family). Used in the context of attributing blame to the character of Hjadar for an accident for whom nobody is directly responsible or as a means to deflect censure.
East Aperin Dub Aperin an incorrect term once applied to Biotopia and to describe the Biotopians (eg as East Aperiners). The term has fallen out of favour but is occasionally used by elderly visitors from Aperin.
Metahuman Ollyon-Septnar this is a highly offensive word akin to words such as “nigger”, “kyke” and “faggot”. It is commonly used in the hate-propaganda of The Reich nations such as Iesus Christi.
People in green Pagrapha ed sutta the police.
Someone who always wears their tie Jallatoprest dja phrent ekro Pagruda tjephttp an expression used to describe a person who is uptight and always behaves in a professional manner even in social situations.
The revolutionary question Ven Ebretarkostau Jul based on the writings in the Autumn Pamphlet by J. K. Vegra where the full phrase is “we must ask ourselves that revolutionary question – why?” It is sometimes used less frequently as referring to a great unknown key to producing a coherent answer from incoherent clues.
What the Beef Reph ven Sant an exclamation of confusion or frustration.

Literature

All Biotopian classics have been converted into contemporary Biotopian and Celdonian. There are also numerous books which have been published both in Biotopian, Celdonian and even regional dialects. Bio-Celdonian fusions have been a periodic fad and produced an entire sub-genre. The written word plays an important part in Biotopian culture to the discrimination of other artistic expressions such as cinematography, theatre and painting.
Top Five Books in 2019
  • The Compendium
  • Yumakkattakaa
  • Jell-Tratta-Mota
  • Dark Wood
  • Raise the Red Flag

Pronunciation

Biotopians have a relatively homogenous accent despite some regional differences in dialects. This has been attributed to the depth of radio and television into contemporary society as well as the more contemporary prevalence of a commonly spoken language. Some people find it difficult to adopt the Biotopian language however it is relatively simple to learn the important pronunciation and recognise the letter substitution since the Celdonian alphabet is employed. Below are a series of examples in pronunciation.
  • Ph represents F
  • Wh represents Q
  • Zh represents Z
  • ou as in you into ou as in cough
  • ch as in child into Kh as in curtain
  • pst becomes psh as in p(o)sh
  • mb becomes mbwhe as in (hi)m-b-wh(ere)
  • vh becomes vough as in vou(ge)

Media

Television, radio, newspapers, magazines and the internet are all popular consumption outlets for Biotopian mass-media. Newspapers continue to be highly popular as they have traditionally been the most independent news source and three of the top five selling papers have been established for over 100 years. The government funds the Global Broadcasting Agency and Biotopian Broadcasting Commission which oversees the funding of operations to the subsidiary bodies of the BBC including its radio and internet services. Biotopia One and all government radio agencies are unable to accept funding for airing advertisements. There are numerous independent television and radio networks across Biotopia. Regular television broadcasts end daily from 11pm-5am and only run limited programs over the weekend.

Newspapers

Newspapers are an important source of information and are used as the primary source of news and information for an estimated 50% of the population. Newspapers also have a long life since design wrapping paper is rarely used printed paper makes a common substitute. There are five national newspapers, eight regional and an estimated one-hundred and seventy local newspapers, broadsheets and weekend journals. There is also an unregistered number of local digests produced at the shire level. All eight national newspapers are also digitised for internet access.
Leading National Newspapers in 2019
  • The Republican
  • The Biotopian
  • Citizen!
  • The Green Star
  • National-Herald

Radio

Like television the radio is a popular source of entertainment and information because of its comprehensive access and low energy requirements. There are 28 national broadcasters and around 200 regional and local stations. Most stations broadcast in digital and have been assimilated into the national broadcasting stream as digital audio channels on the national broadcasting network available to all citizens. The diversity of radio programs and contents is broad including two youth radio stations, five dedicated to news and current affairs, three to politics as well as a variety of radios which broadcast in foreign languages for domestic and international use.
Top Five National Stations in 2019
  • 80.6FM National Biotopia Radio (NBR)
  • 100.1FM World Radio Network (WRN)
  • 94.1FM 2K Youth Station (2K)
  • 72AM Biotopia National Network (BNN)
  • 70.8AM Celdonian Radio International (CRI)

Television

Television is broadcast in an all digital format. National and regional based channels are available through the national broadcasting agency as are numerous digital audio stations. Stations include those specifically dedicated youth, news, entertainment, science, politics, the economy etc. There are also two special broadcasting stations that broadcast foreign language programs. There are 52 digital television programs ranging from Biotopia One, the peak national broadcaster to provincial based community stations. The Celdonian CBC is also freely available.
Top Five National Broadcasters in 2019
  • Biotopia One (B1)
  • National News Network (NNN)
  • Citizen Broadcasting Agency (CBA)
  • Global Broadcasting Agency (GBA)
  • Biotopian Television Syndicate (BTS)

Internet

The internet is a highly integrated aspect of contemporary news, entertainment and recreation. This relates to the size and efficiency of the information technology sector and the access provided to a low-energy high-technology means of interactive media transmission. Internet Service Provision (ISP) is provided by private companies in competition with government sponsored providers. 20% of people surveyed indicated that they used the internet as their primary source of information.

Popular Culture

Neo-tranditonist art such as folk music, High Opera, and formal literature were all encouraged to the detriment of a contemporary pop-culture in music, pulp-literature and the film industry. Neo-traditionalism has branch into several sub-categories such as electric-folk, urban poetry, folk-jazz and the trans-traditionalist cinema movement. Neo-traditionalism is associated with the back-to-nature, slow-food and Zhoogreph movements. More contemporary cultural movements have also developed in particular relating to a diversification of the music scene and the growth of the cinema and television industry.

Cinema

Cinema has moved from a formulaic approach in narrative structure and story telling to a more diverse and aesthetic model of fictionalised drama and entertainment. Movie going is an increasingly popular past time with movie theatres existing in all cities and towns of reasonable size. With the spread of television many made-for-television movies are made each year. Some of the most acclaimed of these have been historical dramas and popular fiction based on the transition of famous traditional and contemporary novels into film. A large portion of films (and television material) are imported from Celdonia and other Celdonian language nations. There is also a thriving interest in foreign-language films from non-human nations.

Cuisine

There is a broad diversity of provincial cuisine featuring seasonal variations and local specialties. For example in the north-east and south fish is an important dietary feature, in the west fresh produce and meats like poultry are predominant while cereals and preserves are the central ingredients to foods from the central and eastern interior. These dietary preferences are reflected in the differences even between the same franchises from region to region. In most major towns there specialty markets providing out-of-area goods including some specialised beverages such as beer, spirits and fruit drinks only produced locally. Some popular foods and beverages are “Seaspray”, “Autumn Beer’, vegara sandwiches, candlestick cheese, peppermint-crunch and ghand salad.
Ghand Salad
  • 100g flaked tuna
  • 100g flaked sedas
  • half a nyatta cabbage
  • around 20 sliced olives
  • handful of spretta grass
  • 8 boiled and diced potatoes
  • mix and dress with creamy Auttenburgh sauce
Rising Moon
  • 10ml of Hjell Curacao
  • 1 measure soft brandy
  • 1.5 measures Krost Dairy
  • mix and drink as a shot

Tourism

International tourism is an underdeveloped sector of the Biotopian economy although it is a popular domestic activity. Shreptaggottaherves or “house for the holiday” are a common destination for many Biotopians during the summer and winter breaks. These houses have different connotations depending on where one is from. For example most people in the north may talk about staying at a Kravashrepgottaherve meaning rental accommodation typically small apartments near the southern coastline. A person from St. Kordaam however will be thinking of a detached cottage in the Nebrad district. Most international accommodation is situated in the major cities with access to a port or airport but cities intersecting the national road and rail network offer reasonable accommodation
The majority of Biotopians are both fluent and literate in Celdonian and present themselves in a friendly and co-operative manner to foreign visitors. Sites of natural beauty are major attractions to Biotopian drawing families, campers and hikers. The urban holiday is also popular with some people visiting major commercial centres like St. Kordaam to make special purchases but most come to see the cultural and historical landmarks. Most Biotopians take advantage of the low-coast shipping and train fares to visit beyond their local region. The growth of tourism is reflected by the increasing number arrivals at the major transport hubs of the nation.

Religion

Biotopia is dominated by two major religions; the Universal Cathedral and Mother Church which are both indigenous belief systems and are adhered to by around a third of the population each. The third largest indigenous religion is Gnangara which applies to only 6.5% of the total population. Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism are the largest mainstream non-indigenous religions respectively. 16% of the population identify themselves as atheists.

Religious Holidays

Religion in the Republic

Religion as a rule is excluded from political debate. It is considered indecent to enquire about a person’s religious beliefs publicly. There are anti-bias laws that prohibit the depiction of an individual’s religious belief in the workplaces and in the civil service. Interestingly religion still plays an important cultural role being the platform for most public holidays and it was the paleosocial grandeur of religious practices that has inspired the more flamboyant and melodramatic expression of some public holidays such as Harvest Festival and the Winter Solstice. To define the relationship between religion and the republic it would be that religious observance is a highly private affair but religion is reflected as a secularised cultural practice in the public sphere of the republic.

Religion through History

The unusual quality of Biotopian religion is the decentralised nature that it took leaving local customs and animistic practices to remained incorporated to a more general religious theology. The Universal Cathedral and Mother Church both stem from this ancient tradition while Gnangara is unique it that it is the only indigenous monotheistic religion. The Mother Church in its current form was formed during the Imperial Era although it has roots stretching back to at least the Commonwealth Era. The Universal Cathedral split from the Mother Church in the early Republican Era but endorse practices traced back to the Mid Commonwealth Era.

Religious Legacy

religion played a consolidating role in establishing a common language and facilitating both trade and political control across the nation. Perhaps the most striking religious icon is the Langrebdorst a basalt monolith surrounded by a circular compound on the Endor Peninsula. Not all religious icons are initially so imposing, there are hundreds of antiquarian manuscripts written in the Commonwealth dialect relating to matters from poetry to harvest results. The most enduring legacy must be the influence left politically, socially and linguistically on the peoples of Biotopia. Although the Biotopian script has changed there are many ancient derivations drawn from the great age of learning that accompanied the consolidation of religious practice.

Landmarks

Political

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Illujanket Road sometimes called Embassy Parade is a famous road in the capital city Zhaire because it is where most foreign embassies are located. Illujanket Road runs between the Forghestok and Agrebodt districts, intersecting the Plaza of White Pines near the northern shore line and boxing in the waterfront business area from the historical interior of the city. The embassies number from 150 through to 450 with addresses traditionally appointed according to diplomatic sentiment of the issuing government. The tradition is not a strict one and is constrained b the availability of properties but in general it hold that embassies in the Agrebodt District are considered unfriendly states and those in Forghestok belong to allies and friendly-states. Ironically those in Agrebodt are furthermost from Parliament.

For example the Celdonian embassy is located at number 450 in the Agrebodt District and is considered a close ally of the people and government of Biotopia. In contrast the embassy of Knootoss is addressed at 150 on the Forghestok side of the divide because when the Knootian embassy was allocated the relationship was very distant and cold between the two states. Aside from the political intrigue of changing embassy addresses according to the nature of government Illujanket Road is very popular amongst tourists who enjoy the variety of architectural styles, conducting embassy-spotting patrols and dining in the numerous cafes and bars that house informal diplomatic negations and shift the balance of power between meals.

Cultural

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Saint Kordaam is an important historical and cultural city in Biotopia. While Zhaire may be the political centre of the nation St Kordaam is definitely the cultural hub. In part this is supported by the cosmopolitan nature of the maritime harbour city and the strength of its financial institutions as a means to fund artistic creativity and experimentation. The National Opera and Performing Arts Academy refuse to give up their grandiose Imperial head quarters and take residence in the ultra-modern facility located on the shores of the capital. The city attracts an estimated 2,000,000 visitors to its cultural and exhibition centres every year.

This is supported by the diversity of artistic avenues ranging from dishevelled grottos for late-night jazz and book stores squeezed into back-alleys to the extravagant Imperial Exhibition Hall which houses over 16,000 individual display items. The inner-city is well known for its quiet tree-lined avenues and standard five-story white marble apartments which lived in contrast to the seedy and sometime dangerous neighbourhoods adjoining the harbour known collectively as The Canals. A program of urban renewal has transformed these scruffy communities into a vibrant and integrated district better incorporating the harbour into the city and making use of the canals and waterfront.

Technological

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The Saint Ghort Integrated Municipality Centre (I.M.C) popularly known as the silver city or the beehive is an unmistakable feature on the otherwise homogenous landscape of the eastern interior. Located in the heartland of the Red Arid-lands the IMC is a tribute to pioneering architecture and social experiment. Inspired by the mega-arcology of SeOCC and Orgybot the IMC is a more feasible indigenous attempt at arcological engineering and design. The purpose of the IMC was to build an ultra-modern metropolis in the heartland of a harsh and difficult environment in an environmentally and socially sustainable way.

The success of the project has been mixed; the city has the most efficient water management system in the nation as well as a high standard of public transport quality and it supports the third highest settlement density. It has however failed to deal comprehensively with long-term ecological self-containment, urban air pollution and resource depletion. Saint Ghort is the only major urban settlement not to be supplied by Wikipedia:fossil fuels:fossil fuels and hydroelectricity, instead it sources power from solar power, geothermal power and aeropower. The project however remains an inspiration to town-planers and sociologists alike.

Natural

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The Great Amanzee is the largest river in country by volume and only second in size to the Ogattophee running on the eastern side of the White Range. The Great Amanzee is the literally the economic and cultural lifeblood of the nation and the axis of antiquarian Biotopian civilisation. Unlike most major tributaries, especially those that support major population centres and used in economic transport the Great Amanzee is comparatively less polluted and healthier. The water is even safe enough to bathe in as it exits into The Ghand. Starting in the Red and White ranges (sometimes called the pink watershed) the Great Amanzee passes through a broad spectrum of ecologies and touches some of the most important cities and agricultural districts.

It has been a key objective of successive government to restore the vitality of the Great Amanzee. Sections of shoreline and floodplain environments have been converted into pre-development ecosystems along the entire breadth of the river and its tributaries. The Great Amanzee is navigational for over a thousand kilometres. The Great Amanzee drains water from over a third of the contiguous provinces of Biotopia and is a potent environmental, economic, social and cultural icon that has carved the landscape for thousands of years.