Despite the massive changes to the structure of the Kawaiian NationState recently, Kawaiian culture has for the most part been unchanged.
A Rough Guide to Kawaiian Culture
Church, Family, Self: Kawaiian Identity
Kawaiian children were traditionally taught to think of themselves as a member of the HOCEK first, their family second, and then finally as an individual. With the fall of the otaku and their replacement by the Prophet, this system has continued. Allegiance is owed first to the Prophet and his Law, then to one's Patriarch and elders, and only finally to oneself. This form of communal thinking colors every aspect of the believer-citizen's life, and affects their attitudes toward civil rights, which often seem strange and contradictory to more individualistic cultures among NationStates.
Believer vs. Non-Believer
Kawaiian society has largely been isolationist over the centuries; it was HOCEK policy to restrict their peoples' contact with foreign cultures. That, and the recent unpleasant events resulting from contact with Omigodtheykilledkenny, have forged a strongly xenophobic streak within the Kawaiian mindest. However, the former HOCEK doctrines of "cuteness" and "happiness" still exist within the framework of the Law handed down by the Prophet. The result is a rather chilly formality towards foreigners. While Kawaiians will not show overt signs of hostility towards foreigners, only with the greatest of effort can a non-believer be accepted among them, and even then they will always be viewed as an outsider.
Even when the HOCEK in its early days adopted monotheism, the earlier practice of ancestor worship was never fully suppressed. Instead, HOCEK teachings presented one's departed ancestors as "intercessionaries" with the Cute One. Veneration of one's ancestors became an integral part of worship, with prayers to the Cute One directed through them.
This practice, continued today under the Law of the Prophet, is the foundation for one of the most powerful forces within Kawaiian culture--the taboo against illegitimacy. The belief that only one's lineal ancestors can intercede for one with the Cute One makes it a requirement that one be sure who one's lineal ancestors truly are. This has resulted in a heavily formalized set of rules regarding the family.
- Separation of the Sexes
- Co-habitation in the Eternal Kawaii is, of course, absolutely forbidden. Indeed, any social situation which could even hint at an illegitimate sexual relationship is frowned upon. This has resulted in a strongly sexually-segregated society, starting with separate classes in school for boys and girls and continuing on to separate career paths for men and women. (The concept of "men's work" and "women's work", far from being considered sexist and discriminatory, is a commonly accepted notion.) Even such mundane things such as restaurants and public transportation are often divided into "men's", "women's" and "family" sections. Medicine in the Eternal Kawaii is also a divided affair, with physicians trained to heal members of their own sex exclusively.
- Dating and Marriage
- Because the average Kawaiian rarely comes into contact with a member of the opposite sex outside of their family, the process of dating and marriage is a complicated and heavily regulated affair. Both dating and marriage are regarded as sacred institutions, with several degrees of socially-approved relationships from casual friendship to man and wife. The Kawaiian view of marriage differs somewhat from other cultures in that it is not considered a private union between individuals. That is, the Kawaiian marriage contract is not between man and wife; instead, it is between man and wife as the first party and their families as the second party, with surrounding society as witnesses. Most marriages are arranged affairs, and in fact it is not unusual for Kawaiian children to be "married" to one another to secure family alliances. These child-marriages do not become official, of course, until the would-be husband and wife reach their ages of majority, but they are formal unions nonetheless.
- Family Rights and Responsibilities
- The veneration of one's ancestors extends in a certain fashion towards one's living relatives. Kawaiians are extremely respectful of their elders and in turn expect a far greater degree of respect and obedience from their children than other cultures. For example, Kawaiian law has no concept of "juvenile delinquency". Since children and youth are considered morally incapable of committing all but the most minor of crimes (depending on their judged maturity), they are allowed few rights and correspondingly few legal responsibilities. In the event of crime involving youth, responsible adult family members are judged criminally liable for that youth's actions.
- Adoption and "Children of the Cute One"
- The relgious requirement to venerate one's ancestors results in an odd quirk of Kawaiian culture--an aversion to practice of adoption. Kawaiians believe that only one's blood relatives can raise a child properly, since it is blasphemous for a non-lineal descendant to ask for intercession with the Cute One. Under HOCEK law, in rare and unfortunate case where a blood relative could not be found to raise an orphan, the child was expected to be raised by otaku as a "Child of the Cute One." With the removal of the otaku, this practice (among many others) has been taken over by the nekomusume. It should be noted that the attacks of the kaiju have sadly resulted in many orphans, and far more "Children of the Cute One" exist today than at any time in Kawaiian history. How this will affect Kawaiian family culture in the future is unknown.
The Kawaiian Individual
The Kawaiian religious principle of "cuteness" has resulted in a heavily ritualistic society. In order to fully express their devotion to the Cute One, the Kawaiian individual strives to live in harmony with Its creation. A common expression in the Eternal Kawaii is "the right person, in the right place, at the right time."
- The Right Person
- Striving for harmony with the Cute One starts with maintenance of one's body. Accordingly, Kawaiians maintain strict standards of physical purity, including:
- Personal Hygiene - Kawaiians maintain extremely high standards of personal hygiene, both for religious reasons and to cope with the fact that they commonly live in close quarters with each other. There are prescribed ritual bathing and cleaning practices for practically every situation they encounter.
- Temperance - Drugs of any kind are forbidden in the Eternal Kawaii. Alcohol is an exception, but its consumption is only done in the context of relgious ritual.
- The Jihi Code - Kawaiians practice a form of dietary restriction, known as jihi, or "mercy", that regulates the kinds of foods they eat. It is a complex set of rules that forbid various animals and animal products from being consumed and place restrictions on how an animal must be tended, captured and slaughtered to ensure its flesh is ritually clean. Under HOCEK rule, this was regulated by a special Jihi Authority. Although the Authority was abolished with the collapse of the HOCEK, the code itself was re-affirmed by the Prophet, and semi-formal replacements for the Authority have been set up by the various Kawaiian Diaspora tribes.
- Life, Death, and Nature - Even in death, a Kawaiian is expected to be in useful harmony with nature. Accordingly, Kawaiians do not bury or cremate their dead. Their funeral practices are similar to the ancient Zoroastrian Persians: the deceased are carried to the tops of tall towers, and there exposed to scavenger birds. However, in uniquely Kawaiian fashion, after the body has been consumed, the bones are allowed to bleach in the sun before being collected and used to make tasteful, if somewhat macabre, decorations for the funeral tower.
- The Right Place
- The destruction of the Eternal Kawaii by the kaiju has resulted in one drastic change to its peoples' religious practices. With one exception, there are now no longer any shrines at which to worship the Cute One. To deal with this, the Prophet in his third act declared that henceforth, prayers may be conducted at any location set apart and ritually purified (usually a simple matter of roping it off and laying down rugs) for the purpose. To ensure unity, the Prophet reconfirmed the ancient practice of praying towards Mount Sanrio, decreeing that it should be done from any place on earth a Kawaiian may find themselves. The one exception is the Shrine of the Manifestation, located in the NSUN Strangers' Bar. It was the only shrine to survive the kaiju rampage by virtue of it being located outside the traditional land of the Eternal Kawaii. This shrine has become a center of pilgrimage for expatriate Kawaiians.
- The Right Time
- In order to maintain harmony with the Eternal Kawaii, Kawaiians observe regular, fixed times set apart for worship, all scheduled according to what they believe is the manifestation of the Cute One found in the natural cycles of the earth. These cycles include the rotation of the Earth through the day, the revolution of the Moon through its phases, and the (apparent) revolution of the Sun through the seasons, and are celebrated by prayer times, sabbaths, and festivals:
- Daily Prayers - Since ancient times the Kawaiians recognized seven "sacred times" during the day: dawn, sunrise, mid-morning, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and twilight. This has been formalized in the Greater and Lesser Prayers, times when all work ceases for worship. The Greater Prayers--sunrise, noon, and sunset--are expected to be practiced as a group, while the Lesser Prayers may be performed individually. Under the HOCEK, the prayer times were marked by public announcements; this practice has become less frequent during the exodus but is expect to revive as Kawaiian communities become settled in exile.
- Monthly Sabbaths - The Kawaiians have a variation of the weekly sabbath, a day or days set apart from normal activity for the higher purpose of worship. These sabbaths are tied to the quarters of the moon, and form the basis of the Kawaiian lunar calendar.
- Seasonal Festivals - In addition to sabbaths during the lunar month, the Kawaiians also celebrate festivals tied to the seasons of the solar year: four Greater Festivals corresponding to the equinoxes and solstices, and four Lesser Festivals corresponding to the mid-points of the seasons. To schedule them, the Kawaiians maintain a second, solar calendar. (See also: Kawaiian Calendars.)